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Vets Saving Third World Equines

This melancholy adage describes a truth many citizens in developing countries confront daily. Horses, donkeys, and mules are an economic lifeline for families. It’s believed 90 per cent of the world’s estimated 100 million equines are working animals, toiling under packs or saddles or behind carts, carrying goods and people, contributing to the livelihoods of individuals and communities. These beasts of burden are often victims of ill-fitting tack, inadequate health care, poor or limited feed, and harsh conditions. Yet many aren’t willfully neglected or abused by their owners. “The problem can be two-fold. One is the lack of knowledge. They just do things the way they were done by their forefathers. And then sometimes there’s a lack of funds,” explains Dr. David Paton, owner of Paton Martin Veterinary Services in Aldergrove, BC, who recently travelled to Costa Rica and Ethiopia on separate equine outreach projects. “The poor animals. They’re not…

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