Following an urgent call from the Turks and Caicos Islands in July 2008 we sent Andrews Trawford, our Director of Veterinary Services, to investigate the future of the free roaming donkeys that were causing a nuisance on the islands.
This enabled Andrew to have discussions with local government officials and animal welfare organisations regarding problems being caused by “overcrowding” and “too many complete stallions”.
An action plan was discussed but before it could be enacted Hurricane Ike destroyed much of the area and the matter took on less importance, with fences and boundaries gone the donkeys have been enjoying the freedom of the island.
Despite the set back caused by the hurricane, plans were still under discussion to carry out a breeding control programme and the good news is that the roaming donkey population in Grand Turk is now under control.
The Donkey Sanctuary has collaborated with the Department of Environmental Health and the TCSPCA and as a consequence a full neutering programme has been put in place and plans are now underway to move donkeys to the Dominican Republic to help local families.
Officials from the Dominican Republic have visited Dr Peters, the government vet, and assured him that they are onboard with us providing training in donkey care and welfare to the recipient farmers on their island. Together with Dr Peters, we will also be providing training for these semi-feral donkeys to make sure they leave the island nearer to a domesticated state.
This mirrors exactly the programme that was initiated by the Sanctuary some years ago to send donkeys to Jamaica. That earlier programme has been a complete success, as the 50 donkeys live happily in a working environment in the cool western hills of the island.