On the 9th of June, the Donkey Sanctuary promoted a webinar focused on Modern animal traction: current situation, challenges and opportunities.
Joao Rodrigues, Pit Schlechter and Erhard Schroll were the guests of this webinar, which counted with attendees from all over the world.
It was the perfect opportunity to explore the reality in Europe around working equids.
OIE-WORLD ORGANISATION FOR ANIMAL HEALTH
Terrestrial Animal Health Code
Chapter 7.12- Welfare of Working Equids
In many countries, working equids, used for transport and traction, contribute directly and indirectly to households' livelihoods and benefit communities as a whole. Working equids may be of direct or indirect use in production and commercial activities.
Specifically, they contribute to agricultural production and food security by transporting, for instance, water and fodder for other livestock, firewood and other daily needs to the homestead and agricultural products to the market. They provide draught power for agricultural work and transport. They may supply manure, milk, meat and hides for household use or income.
The welfare of these working equids is often poor because their owners lack sufficient resources to meet their needs or have insufficient knowledge of the appropriate care of equids. Certain working contexts, such as working in construction industries or in harsh environments, may present a particular risk to their welfare.
The booklet, based partly on former publications by donkey specialists, is meant to inform the user about all facets concerning donkey labour: characteristics and care of the the animal, training, harnessing, hitching and the different uses as pack- or traction-animal, including equipment for agricultural work and transport. Understanding is facilitated by numerous illustrations.