Earlier this month I made a trip to Edinburgh to attend the Scottish Government’s Equine Welfare Stakeholder Group Meeting. It was the first time The Donkey Sanctuary had been invited to join the meeting where representatives from welfare organisations, such as the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), British Horse Society and World Horse Welfare, were able to discuss issues affecting equines with members of staff from the Scottish Government. Meetings like this are a valuable platform to highlight the welfare issues affecting donkeys and mules throughout Great Britain.
I was grateful to have the opportunity to discuss the challenges our welfare team face in tackling some of these issues but also to be able to share some of the many successes our team have achieved over the last 12 months. Importantly, I was able to promote the skills and ability of our welfare team in Scotland and our capability to assist other organisations should the need arise.
We certainly didn’t need to wait long before we were asked to put our words into action. Just days after the meeting our Donkey Welfare Adviser for Northern Scotland, Gill Hamilton, was asked to assist the SSPCA with two abandoned stallion donkeys. Gill worked with the SSPCA and World Horse Welfare to bring these boys safely into her holding base where they will receive all the care they need. This is a great outcome for these donkeys whose future could have easily been very different. Gill has named these boys Ross and Andy after two of the SSPCA Inspectors involved in their rescue and I am sure we will be reading more about these two in future.