The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare have formed a groundbreaking partnership with the China Horse Industry Association (CHIA) and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) to improve equine welfare in China.

The signing of the Memorandum of Association (MoU) was announced during the 15th World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA) Congress in Beijing.

Working towards a common goal to promote equine welfare in China, The Donkey Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare, CHIA and CVMA will collaborate on improving equine welfare through education and research to bring about the highest international standards.

The four organisations’ expertise, skills and strengths will benefit the health and welfare of China’s equines, of which there are an estimated 5.4 million donkeys, 2.9 million mules and 5.9 million horses.

Mike Baker, CEO, The Donkey Sanctuary, sees this unique collaboration as positive step forward for donkey welfare in the country. “Working with World Horse Welfare, CHIA and CVMA will be groundbreaking for equine welfare in China,” he said.

“This agreement is a great opportunity as China clearly needs support to develop the necessary equine veterinary expertise and the practicing vets with specific donkey and horse knowledge and experience. This partnership will provide the chance to give these animals the healthcare they desperately need. We welcome the enthusiasm of CHIA and the equine sector involved with this event to improve animal welfare and it is so encouraging to see the massive strides being taken for better care of donkeys, horses and other animals.”

The Donkey Sanctuary also launched The Clinical Companion of the Donkey, a definitive textbook for clinicians and professionals working in donkey medicine or surgery, which was made available in both Chinese and English.

Welcoming the partnership, Dr Faith Burden, director of research and operational support at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “The response we have received from the Chinese veterinary community has been amazing – the textbook has been really well received.”

Roly Owers, CEO, World Horse Welfare said: “To make a difference we have to work in partnership and we are delighted to support China’s horse industry and their equine vets to help them reach the highest health and welfare standards. Equine vets, equipped with the necessary skills, have a fundamental role to play in China’s expanding equestrian market and beyond, and it is essential that they receive the training and support they need to be world class. Together we look forward to adding value to help improve the welfare of all equines in China.”