Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Abdul Gani Kohli inaugurated one day workshop organized by Brooke India- an international animal welfare organization in collaboration with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board at Katra today.The workshop is aimed at bringing together all the stakeholders dealing with the welfare of equines and to discuss a way forward to mitigate the issues and challenges faced by equine owners. On the occasion the Minister said that the Brooke India is an international organization dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world’s poorest communities.Hailing the efforts of the organization for taking care of equines dedicatedly, the Minister said that this international charity is dedicated to change the lives of working equines and their owners. He said the organization is working in 10 states covering approximately 03 lakh equines.
The Minister said that the organization works holistically for the betterment of these equines in the sustainable manner through advocacy, community engagement and veterinary service provision. He said the dedicated field teams of the organization is taking care of equines in most challenging conditions at brick kilns, in villages, tanga stands, in urban areas high altitude pilgrims’ and tourist sites.During the workshop it was disclosed that as per the 19th livestock census, India is home to around 12 lakh working equines (Horses, Mules, ponies and donkeys) and the Jammu and Kashmir State ranks second in equine population after Utter Pradesh with an estimated equine population of 1.61 lakhs. It was also told that Rajouri district has the highest equine population of 16066 lakh followed by 13974 in Anantnag, 12359 in Reasi, 10149 in Jammu and 10127 in Kathua districts.Commissioner/Secretary Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries R. K. Bhagat, Director Animal Husbandry Jammu, Chief Executive Officer, Brooke India, senior officers of SMVDSB and a large number of equine owners were present.