A RETIRED vet has flown to Africa to help famine stricken people keep their animals alive.
Stuart Easby, who founded Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic in Stamford Bridge, is visiting refugee camps in several African countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, during his animal rescue mission.
His trip began in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, and is expected to last between three to six weeks.
Mr Easby, who lives near Bugthorpe, is supporting Islamic Relief, an international aid and development charity, while he is there.
The 62-year-old sees the trip as a chance to make a difference by helping starving and dehydrated animals who are vitally important to the livelihood of their owners.
He said: “I think it is amazing I have an opportunity to do it. If I can make a difference to one animal, one family it is an achievement.
“The other thing is I am going because I can. It is my way of giving something back for my years of experience.
Mr Easby said he was unsure what to expect before he set off on his journey and where exactly he would be going.
“I’m going wherever I can be of some use. It all depends on people on the ground,” he said.
“Some people who arrive in refugee camps arrive with animals. The question is, what can I do for these animals?
“I would imagine the animals are in a real bad state. People don’t have food or water.
“I have no idea what facilities I will have. I will be taking administration and rehydration equipment.
“It is very much going into the unknown. But 40 years of being a vet has prepared me for going into the unknown.”
Mr Easby has been involved in a number of international mercy missions since he retired in 2004. Last year he spent 10 weeks in Pakistan, where he helped farmers keep their livestock alive following devastating floods.
The father of four, who runs an advice line called One Call Advice Direct Vet, has also made trips to the Middle East to work with a charity aiming to improve the plight of injured donkeys in Israel and Palestine.
Earlier this year he travelled to Japan to help animals suffering in the country after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.