Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lending a Hand

Egypt's small farmers are being crushed by a lack of support. There are government subsidies on human medications to keep the prices affordable, but no subsidies are provided for veterinary medications that the farmers need for their livestock. These prices are rising steadily along with the prices of clothing, schools, books, and food that they need to buy with what little money they make from their crops, whose prices are rising much, much more slowly. Many farmers now are lucky to be able to pay for medications for their animals, but can't afford to pay any more to cover the cost of gas for the doctor's car or money for the doctor's time. Most vets can't afford to spend time without earning a salary so they are not going out to treat animals.

A few months ago the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends and Al Sorat Farm joined forces to provide free veterinary care to farmers between Shabramant and Abu Sir. Here the vets from ESAF and the grooms from Al Sorat are working on a donkey with an infection in his shoulder. They make weekly visits to different parts of of the farmland as it isn't easy for farmers to find time to take a sick or injured animal to either the clinic or the farm to have it checked. Much of the work consists of discussion with the owners about the proper care of their animals to help them keep them healthy.

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