Update January 13: Taal Volcano is erupting. PETA’s animal rescue team is on the ground, providing food and basic veterinary care to animals right now, and are ready to help animals on the island itself when permitted. If you see any animals in need of help, please reach us on 0966-442-1708.
Taal Volcano is isolated and far from major cities in the Philippines, and the majority of the area’s residents live in poverty. The working horses on the island never receive veterinary care. Many tourists flock to Taal to climb the volcano, and most opt to ride on the malnourished and tired horses’ backs up and down the steep slopes in the blazing sun.
The horses—many of whom are juveniles and most of whom are malnourished and underweight—climb the steep mountainside without any rest. They stumble on the rocks and are forced to continue, despite physical exhaustion, under the threat of a whip. When they get to the top, no food or water troughs are waiting—instead, they are granted only a few minutes of rest before they’re forced to start the dangerous trek back down.
PETA Asia, in partnership with International Veterinary Outreach (IVO), has undertaken a project to improve the lives of these working horses. The groups have been holding clinics that have provided hundreds of horses working in the worst conditions with teeth floating (i.e., filing down the sharp edges on their teeth), hoof care, vaccinations, and parasite prevention. While the lives of these horses will never be comparable to what they’d enjoy in a sanctuary, meeting their most basic health-care needs greatly reduces their suffering. PETA and IVO also conduct educational seminars on the island to inform horse owners about ways in which they can improve their horses’ welfare.
If you’d like to help the horses on Taal Volcano, please make a much-need donation today.