This is a tribute to donkeys (of course!), Donkey Welfare Adviser, Mark Kerr, and a fabulous Donkey Guardian. I had the great pleasure of visiting a guardian home in Mark's area recently. Mandy gave a wonderful home to Eddie and Toffee who had been lovingly trained until they were ready to go out to a forever home by our grooms. And that could have been the end of the story.
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Marion Burton is an incredible Artist who has been using her talent for rehabilitation after treatment from cancer. To help with relaxation, she has travelled down to Devon to be among our donkeys on many occasions from her home in Rochford, Essex and during her visits, she has be drawing and painting some of our wonderful long-eared residents.
It’s not been long since we published our report Under the Skin and the work to help donkeys and their communities has only just begun.
Alex Mayers, Programme Manager, visited Tanzania, where he and Dr Thomas Kahema, founder of The Tanzanian Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO), visited a donkey market believed to be serving the skin trade. During an emotional video, Alex described horrendous conditions for these donkeys as they waited to die.
The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare have today swung into action to provide essential food and support to hundreds of donkeys and horses left stranded following January’s earthquake and extraordinary snowfall in Abruzzo, Italy.
Food is arriving today at Abruzzo, Italy to help animals who have been left trapped and starving in snow following multiple earthquakes that took place in January. The Donkey Sanctuary has joined forces with World Horse Welfare to provide food and hay to donkeys, horses and other livestock.
At a market in Dodoma, Tanzania, hundreds of donkeys crammed into pens under the burning midday sun wait for their fate. Some are skeletally thin but all are withdrawn and quiet. A short walk away a pile of carcasses smoulders under a layer of sawdust. The market was set up to serve ever-growing demand for ejiao – a traditional Chinese medicine made with gelatin extracted from donkey skin. Whether they wait days or weeks, most of the donkeys here will end up at an abattoir where they will be slaughtered for their skins.