The Donkey Sanctuary welcomed the Rt Hon Sir Hugo Swire to its international headquarters in Sidmouth last week, where he met the charity’s chief executive officer Mike Baker and was given a tour of the sanctuary.

The Member of Parliament for East Devon was given a brief history of the organisation and how it plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. Mr Swire heard how The Donkey Sanctuary contributes exponentially to the local economy by being one of the largest employers in East Devon and a leading regional tourist attraction.

Mike Baker says: “We were delighted to welcome Hugo Swire to The Donkey Sanctuary and to be able to give him an overview of the work we do, both here in the UK and internationally. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our work as a leading animal welfare charity and we’d like to thank him for visiting and supporting us.”

Mr Swire’s East Devon constituency covers large areas of The Donkey Sanctuary’s main international headquarters in Sidmouth and several outlying farms belonging to the charity.

Cocoa, Mike Baker and Sir Hugo Swire MP
Sir Hugo Swire MP meets The Donkey Sanctuary's CEO Mike Baker - accompanied by lovely Cocoa.
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East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire said: "It was good to catch up with the future plans for The Donkey Sanctuary. They are one of the main employers in my constituency and one of its major tourist attractions. On top of which, they perform a very important role in the welfare of donkeys. I am keen to work with them closely in their global ambition to improve the treatment of donkeys and mules worldwide, particularly in the developing world".

The Donkey Sanctuary is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with special events throughout 2019. This milestone is an opportunity to both look back on the charity’s landmark achievements and take stock of the massive challenges in a world where the suffering of animals remains abhorrent.

Since its foundation by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen in 1969, The Donkey Sanctuary has grown from a charity rescuing UK donkeys from neglect and abuse to an international welfare organisation transforming the lives of millions of donkeys and mules, and the people who depend on them for a living.