Businesses, horse-lovers and individuals are being asked to donate hi-viz equipment to help save ponies and donkeys from death and injury in Africa.
Vet Nancy Homewood and veterinary nurses Amy Woodward and Jenna Reilly travel to The Gambia later next week and are appealing for equipment that will help them with their treatment and education programme.
The three, from Hook Norton Veterinary Surgery, need bits and bridles and most importantly, hi-viz items to help prevent casualties when the cart-pulling animals are hit by passing traffic because they have not been seen.
They also need donations of cash to allow them to buy extra baggage space to take the equipment with them.
“This will be my second time out at the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust treating animals and providing veterinary care and education,” said Miss Homewood.
“We want to take as much as possible with us on this trip. We need bridlework and bits but we do have weight limits so we need to travel as light as possible.
“Hi-viz tabards and other items are really welcome. These ponies and donkeys are used by most subsistence farmers but there is a high rate of collisions because they don’t stand out to motorists.”
The vets and vet nurses will work unpaid and will fund their own fares.
A healthy working animal in the Gambia can increase a farming family’s income by up to 500 per cent and buying an animal is a big investment.
If the animal becomes sick or dies not only the animal suffers but its owners suffer too.
The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in Africa and is unable to provide all the veterinary support farmers need, so when the animals become ill, sometimes the owners are simply unable to find help for it.
Insect borne diseases such as Sleeping Sickness, African Horse Sickness and tick fever are common and when combined with poor nutrition and management caused by lack of knowledge and poverty, the results can be disastrous.
The volunteers hope to provide the Gambian people with the skills and knowledge to deal with problems, creating a long term solution.
You can drop off cash and other donations at the surgery until this Saturday morning up to midday.