The Donkey Sanctuary’s research team works in collaboration with experts around the world to improve understanding of donkeys and their welfare requirements.
Our projects range from small in-house studies developed on a need basis, to larger commissioned projects spanning three years or more. Sharing our findings is an important part of our work, to help educate and inform at all levels of society, from academia to rural communities
We have worked with many of the UK’s leading universities as well as overseas institutions and our research crosses many academic fields including veterinary science, behaviour, nutrition, microbiology, social science, anthrozoology and working equids. In short, nothing that contributes to improving donkey welfare is beyond our remit.
Half of our research team is dedicated to domestic research, while the other half faces very different challenges conducting global research.
Since its inception, our team has conducted and led many ground-breaking projects that have changed the way we manage our UK herds and helped us make progress in disease prevention. Guided by the findings of our research, we have significantly reduced the rate of impaction colic and gastric ulcers on our farms, due to changes in management and feeding. We also have a greater understanding of hyperlipaemia (a potentially fatal condition in donkeys), and of which donkeys are most at risk of developing it.
As well as co-ordinating research projects, in conjunction with the vet team we also coordinate the nutrition and parasitology management of our resident UK and European donkeys.