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Modern animal traction: current situation, challenges and opportunities

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.
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Le cheval de travail en Suisse

This study about the current situation of the working horse industry in Switzerland presents the working equid in general, meaning the possible uses, the assets and drawbacks, the technical data etc. Furthermore it situates the industry in the Swiss context (state of agriculture, forestry, territorial development etc.) and shows how it works by analysing the outcomes of a survey among stakeholders.
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Donkey Husbandry and Production Systems

This document represents chapter 12 of "Current Donkey Production & Functionality. Relationships with Humans.Book 1." It gives a broad summary of donkey production, husbandry and managing systems, and it deals with a wide range of aspects like breeds and breeding, veterinary care and welfare concerns, domestication,conservation and genetic resources. It also lokks at threats and constraints and how these could be met.
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The XXI century mountains:sustainable management of mountainous areas based on animal traction

According to the FAO, there are around 300 million working animals worldwide. They play a fundamental role in human livelihoods through their contribution to financial, human and social capital, supporting between 300 and 600 million people globally, particularly in poorer areas, where animal energy represents a huge and extremely important sustainable power resource.Yet its recognition remains neglected in many programs of cooperation to development, with animal traction being largely ignored by decision and policy makers and even by civil society at all levels, which compromises a real development of this technology as well as animal welfare. On the other hand, a collective ecological and economical consciousness and an increasing awareness of public opinion about the need to reduce the excessive industrialization and mechanization of agriculture and forestry has led some sectors of society to consider the (re)use of animal traction as a valid modern source of energy. Indeed, working animals optimally transform the consumed biomass in energy and natural fertilizer, which avoids soil degradation and contributes to a sustainable management of arable lands, forests and sensitive areas. The need to maintain biodiversity, reduce carbon emissions, encourage self-reliance and reduce consumption of resources also contributes to this trend.
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