With nearly 50 years of experience working with donkeys, we are a global centre of excellence. As the go-to experts, we help owners, farmers and sanctuaries all over the world with advice and research to protect their donkeys’ welfare and ensure they have a good life.
While vets, farriers and animal health assistants around the world are in a position to be some of the frontline champions of donkey welfare, they can often qualify from university or college without ever seeing a donkey. Despite being so crucial to rural lives and urban livelihoods, the low status of donkeys means that they are all too easily overlooked by health professionals. However, The Donkey Sanctuary and its network of partners around the world share knowledge and expertise to improve the lives of donkeys and the communities that rely on them.
Through our partnership with the Egyptian Society for the Protection and Welfare of Working Animals (ESPWWA), the lives of working donkeys and mules are improving in both brick kilns and agricultural communities in the Nile valley and delta.
By training local cart and harness makers in the best materials, design, fitting, use and repair techniques, the team has reduced the wounds and sores suffered by thousands of working donkeys and mules. Ongoing partnerships with local universities and training institutes means that the next generations of vets, farriers and other animal health professionals are better equipped to sustain the improvements being made.
The USA is a very active country in the world of donkey welfare with many passionate owners, sanctuaries and organisations. As global leaders in the field of donkey welfare, The Donkey Sanctuary networks and collaborates with American organisations both at conferences within the USA and also in outreach work in other parts of the world with advice and expertise, especially in the field of donkey behaviour.
A voice for donkeys
As well as providing support and expertise, we're also the world's ‘voice of the donkey’. Not everyone appreciates or understands the crucial role that donkeys continue to play in modern society. By raising awareness of their needs and the extraordinary role they play supporting families and communities, we can raise their status and present a more complete picture of their incredible value.
We carefully monitor the welfare issues affecting donkeys on a global level and move quickly to resolve them. Donkeys are working in some of the toughest conditions you can imagine such as brick kilns and building sites. Wild populations are under threat. Donkeys are still exploited in entertainment and most recently we’ve helped to expose how they are being farmed for their skins. We are concerned about every issue that causes a donkey to suffer.
Donkey Sanctuary India provides community training on handling, husbandry and care to make life better for working donkeys and mules where there is a population of 69,000 donkeys and mules within reach.
Our Spanish partner, El Refugio del Burrito has been supporting donkeys and their owners, and has been championing their welfare in Spain since 1986. Successful lobbying has put a stop to several cruel events including the annual beach festival in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.