Pashu Sandesh, March 18th, 2021

BI and ICAR-NRCE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for furthering equine research, academic cooperation, joint projects, which will help in generating relevant scientific evidence to solve current challenges faced by the working equines. The partnership will further help to leverage research conclusions to influence policymakers. 

The agreement was signed by Brig JS Dharmadheeran, Chief Executive Officer, BI and Dr Yash Pal, Director ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines on 16th March 2021 at NRCE’s campus in Hisar, Haryana. 

Under the agreement, both organisations will collaborate on joint training programmes, collaborative research projects, access to research and educational facilities, exchange of knowledge and expertise through collaborative projects and lab to land initiatives. 

Some of the key focus areas of cooperation under the MoU include:

  • Equine Plough Lab for Land Technology Transfer to the equine owning communities
  • Donkey Milk Pilot Project
  • Development of Farriery School for skill enhancement
  • National Anti-Microbial Resistance Awareness (AMR) by conducting joint awareness sessions for Veterinarians, PhD students and State Animal Husbandry Officials by NRCE and BI experts.
  • Propagation of Rapid Glanders Testing
  • Development of Equine Feeding Standards
  • Impart equine specific skill development training to Veterinarians, Veterinary Para Professionals, Local Service Providers and Poor Equine Owners.

It is envisioned that MoU will result in bring lasting change in the lives of poor and marginalized owners and improve the welfare of working equines so that the output will benefit the farming community in the country. 

Brooke Hospital for Animals (India) (hereafter known as Brooke India or BI), is a Not For Profit Company registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013. It is registered as an Animal Welfare Organization with the Animal Welfare Board of India and works for the welfare of working equids. BI’s mission is to sustainably improve the conditions of working equines and that of the underprivileged marginalized families that own them.

ICAR-NRCE is a premier institute established under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for researching equine health and production. The importance of equines in India is well known and India possesses 0.55 million equines (as per the latest Livestock Census 2019). NRCE has been playing an important role as a technical leader in the development of the equine sector by being the only institute responsible for research on equine production, health, management, and husbandry in the country. NRCE’s work includes addressing research in surveillance, monitoring, diagnosis, prevention of diseases, production including reproduction, nutrition, feeds and fodder, developing value-added products, all aspects of management, husbandry as well as policy and planning, enhancing awareness among stakeholders about equine husbandry practices and bio-security. Despite the decreasing population of equines in India, the economic impact of equids is appreciable and there is a tremendous potential for growth and development of equines in India.