Veterinary students from across the world have benefited from online teaching during the Covid-19 lockdown, thanks to experts at international animal welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary.

The charity’s veterinary team have always played an active role in teaching the next generation of veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, farriers and equine dentists. So, when the team were approached during lockdown, to help students with ‘Extra-Mural Studies’, placements to prepare them for working in clinical environments, The Donkey Sanctuary’s Senior Veterinary Surgeon and education lead, Alex Thiemann was quick to step in and offer support.

The team put together a suite of resources suitable for pre-clinical and clinical students. The resources included webinars, fact sheets, narrated power points, web links and case studies.

Alex Thiemann, Senior Veterinary Surgeon and education lead at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “In a normal year, we would devote many hours to hands-on teaching at our state of the art donkey hospital or would spend time at universities and colleges in the UK and abroad.

“It’s really important to us that we share our expert knowledge on donkey welfare and care with the next generation of veterinary professionals. Covid-19 means we have to work differently to deliver this support, taking our teaching online to reach 1,000s of students.”

Requested initially by the University of Nottingham, the free resources were subsequently shared with other leading veterinary schools in the UK. Individual students from as far away as Massey in New Zealand and Guelph in Canada have also benefited from the online resources.

Professor Sarah Freeman, from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham, said: “We are hugely grateful to The Donkey Sanctuary for sharing their fantastic resources and expertise. It has been a difficult time for the students with so many opportunities and practical experiences cancelled. Being given access to a range of excellent resources and their staff’s advice and expertise, and learning more about donkeys and the amazing work that The Donkey Sanctuary does has been a real positive experience in challenging times.”

Some students attended seminars over Zoom led by The Donkey Sanctuary’s expert veterinary surgeons. The aim of the seminars was for students to gain an understanding of how to treat donkeys and to learn about the important role they have in supporting livelihoods of 500 million people internationally.

Thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary’s Spanish Veterinary Surgeon, Jesus Buil, teaching was even extended to students in Spain.

The Donkey Sanctuary is a global leader for equine welfare, research and veterinary care. The charity operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation.


For interviews, images and information please contact The Donkey Sanctuary press office on 01395 573124 or 07970 927778 (including out of hours) or send an email.

Notes to Editors

The Donkey Sanctuary is the world's largest equine welfare charity. Our vision is a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued. We run 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules. Our hospital treats sick donkeys and trains vets both nationwide and worldwide. Our donkey-facilitated learning programme helps vulnerable children and adults develop life skills by connecting with donkeys on an emotional and physical level. The charity operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation, and those used in the production of meat and skin.

Please note that the name ‘The Donkey Sanctuary’ should not be abbreviated to ‘Donkey Sanctuary’, and the word ‘The’ should always appear with a capital ‘T’ as above.