Brooke Hospital for Animals has launched its first fundraising appeal that aims to convert occasional donors into committed givers, in a bid to end the superstition-driven mutilation of horses and donkeys in countries where it works.
The Whitewater-produced direct mail campaign asks the charity's 25,000 active supporters for £5-£10 per month to boost its network of free veterinary clinics and mobile vets, teaching good equine care to animal owners in Egypt, Jordan, India and Pakistan.
Horse and donkey owners in these countries carry out practices such as nostril slitting, where a blade is used to widen animals' nostrils without anaesthetic, in the mistaken belief that it will help to increase lung capacity and work-rate.
Other practices include ear cutting to resist tetanus, burning joints to cure arthritis and blowing glass into animals' eyes to clear sight.
"Mutilations are carried out because of ignorance by otherwise well-meaning owners who depend on their animals for their livelihood," said John Trampleasure, the charity's fundraising director. "They don't realise how much suffering is caused."