180 delegates from 25 nationalities attended the 5th International Colloquium on Working Equines, which The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth in Devon hosted, in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia between 30th October to 2nd November 2006.
The Colloquium aimed to address the future of working equines throughout the world and was established by Britain's leading equestrian charities including the Brooke Hospital for Animals, The Donkey Sanctuary, ILPH and SPANA.
The Donkey Breed Society kindly donated £1,000 to fund scholarships for four delegates to attend the colloquium to share ideas and experience in all manners of equids:
Emmanuel Bobobee - Ghana
Under the theme of 'Welfare' Emmanuel presented a talk entitled 'Work Endurance and Welfare of Draft Animals' which looked at the results of a methodology developed to assess welfare and comfort of draught animals in the field.
He said: "This is the first time I have attended a Colloquium and I have been able to interact with a great number of professionals. I will go home to Ghana with new knowledge, especially about donkeys, which are considered the second most important animal in the country."
Ahmed Chabchoub - Tunisia
Ahmed presented a talk entitled 'Animal Welfare and Legislation in Tunisia'. He explained how animals take an active part in development and in economical and social life in Tunisia and how the latest legislation protects them.
He said: "The Colloquium has been very interesting for me as I have written 80 publications about working equines. We have 60,000 donkeys, 47,000 mules and 37,000 horses in Tunisia and the information we all shared is very useful."
Tetyana Kuzmina and Kateryna Slivinska - Ukraine
Kateryna presented a talk on 'The Role of the Przewalski Horse in the Re-naturalisation of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone' for the Environmental section of the Colloquium. The talk discussed the free-living herd of Przewalksi wild horses introduced to the Chernobyl exclusion zone to help accelerate the re-naturalisation of the local ecosystem. Meanwhile, Tetyana provided a poster presentation describing her "Investigation of the gastrointestinal parasite community of donkeys in Ukraine".
Kateryna and Tetyana travelled from the Ukraine, where donkeys are kept mainly in zoos, nature reserves, circuses and riding schools.
They said: "We are very happy to be here as the Colloquium is such a great opportunity to obtain new knowledge and to discuss how we can improve animal welfare in our country and other countries."
The Donkey Sanctuary is very grateful to the Donkey Breed Society for providing Emmanuel, Ahmed, Kateryna and Tetyana with scholarships to enable them to attend this important event.