2nd Annual Donkey Welfare Symposium

2nd Annual Donkey Welfare Symposium

The 2nd Annual Donkey Welfare Symposium was recently held at UC Davis in Davis, CA. The symposium attracted over 130 participants. The 3 day event hosted many of leading worlds' experts in donkey and mule research from behavior to nutrition to surgery. Hands on labs were included on a daily basis for those wanting to learn more about donkey behavior and training by Ben Hart, farrier work with donkeys, donkey dental, parasitology, and methods for freezing jack semen. Live presentations and lectures included a variety of topics from nutritional conditions, EHV in donkeys and mules, etiology of sacroid tumors, wild burro populations, and field surgeries in developing countries with donkeys and mules.

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Mules in Greece: closer look at Hydra

Mules in Greece: closer look at Hydra

The 4th Annual Mule and Donkey Conference was recently held in Hydra, Greece. The conference included many interesting speakers from 12 countries. Topics focused on the donkey through out history in places such as Ireland, Australia and northern Arabia. Other talks focused on mules being used in Nepal, Morrocco, and Turkey. Then talks from the Greek Animal Foundation were given focused on the basic care and treatment of mules and donkeys on the island. There are currently no cars on Hydra but there's pressure from tourists and some groups to replace the mules and muleteers with motorized vechiles.

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Dairy Donkeys in Italy

Dairy Donkeys in Italy

The photos are from various dairies I visited with colleagues and students from the vet school at the University of Torino. We were collecting data associated with the overall welfare of donkeys used for milk purposes in order to help develop guidelines for producers. The data gathered can also be used for donkey owners around the world in terms donkey nutrition, body condition scoring and neck crest scores, blood chemistry profiles, external and internal parasite control in relationship to the over all well being of the donkey. In addition, many breeds of donkeys are being preserved now that they have a purpose. 

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