What We Do

Their Welfare, Our Passion

Our mission is to promote the welfare of working horses and donkeys in the Western Cape through service provision, legislation, education and training. Our aim is to protect working cart horses and donkeys on the Cape Flats from abuse, initiate an outreach programme for working horses and donkeys in the Western Cape, and establish a formal Youth Programme on the Cape Flats.

Clinic Services

We provide subsidised services which include a professional farrier service, harness and cart repairs along with hands-on practical training of cart horse owners and drivers, on proper care and health maintenance of their horses.

Along with these services cart horse owners can also buy feed from us at reduced rates to ensure the optimum health of their working horses.

Veterinary Care

We provide a prompt and professional veterinary service to sick and injured working cart horses. Such services include basic veterinary care and treatments, free de-worming and tetanus vaccinations.

Our Equine Welfare Practitioners are trained and registered with the South African Veterinary Council to perform certain veterinary procedures such as injections and dressing of minor wounds. When a problem needs to be dealt with by a veterinary surgeon, we have a working relationship with Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital.

Cart horses needing constant veterinary care and 24-hour observation are admitted to the Treatment Stalls at the Clinic and Training Centre or to the Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre, where they are treated, monitored and nursed back to health.

Cart Horse Owners pay a reduced fee for such veterinary services.

Monitoring horses on the road

We monitor the cart horse drivers whilst working on public roads by conducting patrols, scrap metal yard inspections and responding to reports of abuse and overloading from members of the public, law enforcement and traffic officials.

In September 2010 the first step to the regulation of the carting industry was taken by the introduction of identification plates for the carts. The ID plate is affixed to the back of the cart and denotes the horses name and Cart Horse Protection Association unique registration number which is captured on a central database with all the horse and owners information.

The ID plate ensures that the cart operators who contravene the Animal Protection Act or traffic regulations can be easily identified and traced through our Information Management System.

Cart Horse Protection Association contributed Chapter 4 – Working Equines to the new City of Cape Town Animal By Law which was promulgated in August 2012.

In 2012 the E53 Cart Horse Operator Permit was introduced on request from the cart horse owners. The permit is a ‘drivers license’ and in order to qualify for one, operators need to attend a workshop where training is given on road signs, safety and signaling, the correct way of harnessing a horse into a cart, checking roadworthiness of carts and their safety and inspection of the horse before going out to work.


Our outreach programme aims to network with and visit animal welfares who offer services to working horses and donkeys to establish their needs in terms of skills and provide training. We are currently involved in two areas, the Tankwa Karoo and Greyton.

The Tankwa Karoo is situated between Ceres and Calvinia and communities use their donkeys for transport. It is an extremely harsh environment and communities are very poor and many live with no access to basic services. Their ‘donkie kar’ is their link to the world. They are used to transport children to school, collect water, to buy food at the local padstals and also to visit family in the area. We assist them with looking after the well being of these donkeys by providing wound care, parasite control, distribution of new harnessing and basic training on farriery and harnessing making.

In Greyton we are assisting a local animal welfare organisation EARS by sharing knowledge and expertise on best practise when working with poor horse owning communities in the area. Going forward, it is envisaged that we will roll out our Equine Welfare Practitioner Training Programme in this area.