Despite changes in technology, rural farmers in the Philippines still rely heavily upon the Water Buffalo, known as Carabao, to help them farm their crops. The Carabao work with the farmers, often instead of modern machinery, which can struggle to get through the wet paddy fields. There are even jobs that only the Carabao can perform, like the formation of divisions for the rice fields. They are also a major source of milk for the provincial areas.
As a result the farmers suffer huge financial hardship if their Carabao get sick or injured and having been aware of what IWCT have doing for dogs through our Mobile Clinics, we were asked by local communities to consider a clinic to treat the Carabao.
The majority of farmers have only 1 or 2 Carabao each and so it was agreed that a central location, within a rural province, would be the ideal place for the farmers to come with their animals for treatment and in June we held our first IWCT Carabao Clinic, led by Chief Veterinarian Dr Roland Arciga. The event was launched by the Mayor of Concepcion and was really well attended.
During the clinic the local farmers brought their Carabao to the Barangay Centre, where the IWCT veterinary team were able to deworm and provide vitamin supplements for 52 Carabao, with a further 3 being treated for minor wounds. All of the treatment was fully funded by IWCT, thanks to our generous supporters.
It was a hugely welcome event for the farmers and wider community and as a result we held a further 2 clinics over the summer and we will be holding a further series of clinics in the coming months, allowing as many farmers, and their Carabao, to benefit as possible.