Every year we're able to provide essential hoof care, dental work and health checks to more and more animals, but even we were shocked when we realised how many we reached this year. In fact we had to double check the numbers to make sure we weren't imagining things! Last year we helped 274 donkeys and some mules. This year the total is 291 - but that's not all…
We've also visited two of the commercial trekking centres, treated and checked over 40 animals, and given training to some of their staff.
An important part of the information we have given to the centres, is how to calculate the weight of donkeys and the maximum weight of rider that different sized donkeys should carry. Weight carrying is something that we receive a lot of correspondence about and, although there is no legislation covering this issue, we are now able to provide guidelines.
It was encouraging to learn that the working hours for the donkeys had been reduced and that the terrain that the donkeys travelled was virtually flat. The donkeys that were being used for riding were also in good condition and extremely well behaved.
Next year we're planning on providing more training to other commercial centres and we're hoping that, with your support, you can help us achieve our aim.
Additionally, we're working on giving some talks to other animal welfare organisations next year. These will be aimed at informing people about acceptable ways of keeping donkeys on the island, general donkey information and encouraging people to be 'extra pairs of eyes' for us.