Both myself and Andrew Trawford, Director of Veterinary Services here at the Sanctuary, attended the 2008 British Veterinary Association Congress held in London at the end of September, along with Dr Francisco Trigo, Director of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and Professor Merga Bekana, Dean of the Addis Ababa University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Debre Zeit.
We invited Dr Trigo and Professor Bekana to come over and visit the Sanctuary to gain a better understanding of who we are, what we do, and what we aim to achieve, as well as to attend the 2008 BVA Congress.
At the Sanctuary they were shown our veterinary facilities - including the hospital, isolation facilities and our farms with their individual donkey care arrangements - as well as being introduced to members of staff.
During the BVA Congress, they attended the BVA Overseas Group sessions, the social events, and were able to make useful veterinary contacts including the Department for International Development Animal Health Adviser.
In addition, during their one week stay, Andrew Trawford took them to visit the new Donkey Sanctuary sponsored Equine Centre at Bristol University, the Equine Centre at Cambridge University, the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, and the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad office in London.
Amongst the many things they enjoyed about the visit, they both expressed surprise at the size and professionalism of the Donkey Sanctuary. After many years of partnership with the Sanctuary, neither had appreciated just how much the charity has been able to achieve.