SPANA – Promoting Animal Welfare
As its name suggests, the Society for the Protection of Animals and Nature (SPANA) in Morocco is a non-profit charity devoted to the welfare of the country’s animals, as well as promoting nature conservation. With HRH Princess Lalla Asmaa as the organization’s Honorary President, SPANA undertakes to achieve its stated objectives of promoting the proper care of animals in both a work environment as well as companion animals; educating the public with regard to environmental issues; and contributing to the conservation of Morocco’s natural heritage.
With regard to the protection and welfare of working animals and domestic pets, SPANA provides medical consultations and treatment, including hospitalization of dogs, cats and horses should that be necessary, at its ten centers around the country. Moreover, each center has a vehicle fully equipped to serve as a mobile clinic, or to transport animals to the centers. Each center also has kennels and catteries to care for homeless animals until they are adopted. All animals are vaccinated and neutered/spayed before they are permitted to leave the centers. In conjunction with the relevant authorities, some of the centers monitor working animals, such as the carriage horses of Marrakech and mountain mules of Imlil, to ensure that their bits and harnesses are in good condition and the animals are healthy and well cared for. Services are provided free of charge, and donations are most welcome.
SPANA also undertakes training and educational programs for the public and at school level, as well as for veterinary students, who participate in animal sterilization programs while gaining experience in dealing with the public regarding the compassionate and ethical treatment of animals. SPANA works along with the Ministry of Agriculture in the practical training of farriers to ensure that this essential skill is continued by Morocco’s younger generation.
The administrative center of SPANA is located in Temara, with branches in Rabat, Marrakech, Khémisset, Chémaia, Khénifra, Tanger, Midelt, Had Ouled Frej, Sidi Boughaba and Casablanca. Members of the organization fall into four categories: Honorary members appointed by the General Assembly; active voting members approved by the majority of all SPANA members the General Assembly; sustaining voluntary members who assist materially and physically with the activities of the organization; and representatives of financially supportive companies and organizations, both nationally and internationally. On a local level SPANA has partnered with The Ministry of Agriculture; the Ministry of Education; the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight Against Desertification; and Institute Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II. Internationally, SPANA Morocco works along with SPAN Great Britain and is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN); the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE); the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA); and the Middle East Network for Animal Welfare (MENAWA).