“The hardest working and most neglected of all our domestic species”
November 7-9, 2014 was the date for the Second Annual Donkey Welfare Symposium hosted by UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine at Davis, California. It was sponsored by the International Animal Welfare Training Institute, UCD, the Office of Continuing Education, UCD, the Animal Science Department, UCD, and the Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, United Kingdom, with animals provided for clinical classes by Peaceful Valley Donkey Sanctuary of San Angelo, Texas.
Attendees were inspired by lectures and clinics over the three day period by internationally recognized experts in donkey medicine, surgery, anesthesia, behavior and husbandry. Labs and training sessions with veterinarians and donkey enthusiasts from all over the world gave insight and enlightened others in a plan for “global efforts to improve the lives of animals who have carried so much of man's weight for so long.”
Classes included: Dental Demonstration (use of tools), Donkey Farrier, Donkey Driving, Collection and Freezing of Jack Semen, Sarcoids in Donkeys, Donkey Nutrition, Field Surgery and others; 24 units of continuing education credits were also available.
Amy McLean PhD plays a key role in an international initiative to improve the health, welfare and productivity of working equids. She is an assistant professor at North Carolina State University. Her main interest is donkeys and mules, having grown up on a farm in Madison, Georgia. She received her undergraduate and masters at the University of Georgia and her PhD from Michigan State. She has made numerous travels outside of the US to provide education to families that use working equids. She works with Equitarian Initiative, a group of veterinarians and caregivers promoting education and assistance in the developing world. It is estimated 100 Million working equids (horses, mules, or donkeys) are used primarily for family income, agriculture and transport.
This was a perfect example of groups with a common cause coming together, for the welfare of donkeys in a united front, in which everyone benefits.
The lectures and workshops from the 2014 Donkey Welfare Symposium are featured on a 12 DVD set available at donkeywelfaresymposium.homestead.com
The 2015 Donkey Welfare Symposium will be at Davis, Cali., November 6,7,and 8. A schedule should be posted by the end of the month. Topics will include donkey reproduction and pregnancy diagnosis, training and donkey events, a discussion of how best to manage wild burros on public lands (including all the GOOD stuff that burros do for public lands), bio-security for sanctuaries, new science (on parasites, geriatric donkeys, and milking donkeys), mini's, harness and vehicle design....and a whole lot more!