The Donkey Sanctuary has just started working in Belgium in a wide-reaching new collaboration which could “help every donkey in Belgium”.
The Sanctuary has started working with the Belgian donkey charity, Anegria, based in Stekene, East Flanders. Through this collaboration the Sanctuary’s experts will train a new generation of donkey care professionals in Belgium.
Training will be offered to vets, farriers and physiotherapists.
This week farriers from Ghent were trained in specialist donkey farriery at The Donkey Sanctuary’s HQ in Devon and next week the Sanctuary’s experts will travel to Belgium to train Belgian physiotherapists to deliver donkey assisted therapy to children with additional needs in projects all across Belgium. A donkey seminar is planned in Belgium for 2015.
The Donkey Sanctuary’s European co-ordinator, Andrew Judge, said the Belgian collaboration was fantastic news.
He said: “It’s brilliant that we are able to start working in Belgium. We will be providing specialist donkey care training to Belgian vets and farriers who so far have mostly trained with horses. We’ll also be training physiotherapists to give donkey assisted therapy.
“By training the next generation of vets and farriers and physiotherapists our work will have a lasting impact and could help every donkey in Belgium, who until now haven’t had access to specialist care. Our work will also impact those children and adults who will benefit from donkey assisted therapy.
“By working alongside Anegria and by investing our expertise we will be raising the profile of the donkey in Belgium and improving their welfare for generations to come.”
The Belgian farriers’ initial training took place in Sidmouth the week beginning August 18th.
The following week The Donkey Sanctuary’s donkey assisted therapy experts will travel from Sidmouth to Belgium to train Belgian physiotherapists in situ in donkey assisted therapy to be rolled out to community projects across Belgium.
Pictured are Filip Verniest and Rob Blondeel, Belgian farriers, receiving training from The Donkey Sanctuary's expert, Matt Sherring.