During an equine welfare conference last year, our team met an interesting Tunisian vet called Jaber Belkhiria who has been working to link city vets with rural communities to provide veterinary care in the more remote areas. Since the conference, our team has been in regular contact with Jaber, offering advice on approaching communities of donkey owners and providing educational materials.
Hello, I’m Jodi Williams an equine dental technician working towards becoming a fully qualified member of the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT). Last year I completed a 3 year BSc (Hons) degree in equine dental science which passes me for the theoretical element of the BAEDT exam; however in order to pass the practical (clinical) examination, I still need to complete a considerable amount of work experience which includes collecting 300 case studies signed off by vets and fully qualified equine dental technicians.
Everything we do is a training opportunity, including veterinary and other direct interventions. In India, we are working hard to improve the welfare of donkeys employed at many of the country’s brick kilns. Donkeys help their owners by carrying heavy loads of bricks. However wounds are common where ill-fitting pack saddles rub the skin.
Donkey Sanctuary India veterinary staff were shocked when a donkey arrived at one of their clinics following a vicious attack of human cruelty. Mr Kaalu, an orphan who was loaned the donkey by its owner in order to help him earn a living, explained that he had arrived at work to find the donkey seriously injured. Despite being kept in a shelter overnight, it looked like the donkey had been attacked with acid and cut with a sharp object.
On the small island of Lamu, off the coast of Kenya, a short boat ride takes you from the airport to town – and the very first thing that every visitor notices as they climb up the harbour-wall steps is that the ‘traffic’ on the island comes solely in the four-legged variety with barely a wheel to be seen. The island’s population of around 3,000 donkeys is relied upon for pretty much all forms of transport and has been tended to by The Donkey Sanctuary for over 25 years.
Today’s blog comes from the National Council of SPCAs, a South African animal-welfare charity that receives our support for the work they do with donkeys. To honour Mandela Day, they recently helped a small community in Limpopo Province to improve the welfare of their working donkeys by replacing unsuitable harnessing. Here the manager of the charity’s Training Unit Morgane James tells us more…