Vets Help Donkey Power Drive Iraqi Brick Factory
Veterinarian Capt. Rory Carolan examines a donkey at the Narhwan, Iraq, brick factory.

An industrial complex in Iraq has quadrupled its employment and productivity, and a team from Multinational Division Center is helping the companies keep their labor force healthy.

Capt. Rory Carolan, senior veterinarian and agriculture advisor with the 3rd Infantry Division's civil affairs team, and Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, treated more than 250 donkeys employed in the absence of motorized vehicles at the Narhwan Brick Factory Complex.

When the brick factory complex reached full operating capacity, employment rose from 3,500 to 15,000. Healthy donkeys became essential to haul straw and mud, as well as the newly-formed bricks.

Carolan specializes in treating equine species - horses, ponies and donkeys.

"This Narhwan clinic was unique, given the number of donkeys to be examined and treated," he said. "Many of the donkeys were malnourished and obviously mistreated. Some suffered from pressure sores, hematomas and neglect. Some collapsed of exhaustion and died before our eyes. Others were well-cared-for, well-fed and well-groomed by owners who respected their worth," he said.

Carolan, with the help of soldiers from 1-10th FA, examined, wormed, measured and weighed the donkeys. More donkeys by the hundreds are waiting to be treated in follow-on clinics.

"The vet clinic was the right thing to do before an increased volume of brick orders kicked in," Carolan said. "In our clinic, we were able to examine and treat donkeys in need of care. We were able to encourage owners giving excellent care to their donkeys. We were able to teach the best way of care and feeding donkeys."

"That is where we can have the most impact, teaching the owners how to properly feed and care for the animals," he continued. "Higher production at the factories will be achieved with the improved standards of care employed."

Page last updated Tue June 17th, 2008 at 19:09