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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Reading the latest edition of NewsSmith, "Showing Smith’s Global Reach," I noticed some Fulbright winners are going to the near and Far East and Africa.

This reminded me of the letter I wrote the New York Times Travel Section last fall, which was published 11/05/06, on overburdened donkeys carrying heavy luggage in Morocco.

According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, WSPA, "equines in the developing world work extremely hard, carrying loads at the limit of their physical ability, working despite poor health, and often dying at a very young age."

The traveler to Morocco stated she felt a "slight twinge of guilt" because all her luggage had been carried up a mountainous trail by one donkey...I suggested that she might at least have paid for two donkeys to share the burden.

I wonder if any of the Smith students have seen these overworked animals, and have tried to help.

For any students going to Jordan, there is for the first time now a humane center for animal welfare called HCAW, and Jordan also has a new mobile clinic that can travel to help sick or injured donkeys or burros.

Tanzania had a desperate situation of donkeys collapsing under their heavy loads, being beaten, and then if they could not stand again, just being left there in the blazing sun...Now with help from WSPA and the ASPA, there is a communal fodder and water point at Usa River market...and a mobile clinic...

Carriage horses and donkeys in Afghanistan had little help of getting any veterinary care or even water.

In Jalalabad in 2002 carriage horses were working 13 hours a day without rest and in temps of 122 degrees...Not one of the five carriage stations had any fresh water available.

I write all of this in the hopes students abroad who see overworked or cruelly treated transport animals, who might even carry their luggage, will do something about it...

For more information about how to help transport animals abroad, please go to

Thank you, for the equines.

Virginia Lamarche ’47

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