In India the majority of donkeys are used as pack animals to carry sand, gravel, debris and bricks especially in brick kilns and also goods up the hill in pilgrimage places. Like many of the developing countries the donkeys working in India suffer tremendous abuse, injury and pain. Harness wounds and lameness are common due to improper harness, overloading and lack of knowledge about care and management among the owners. This paper discusses the extension methods that were used and found to be effective with an aim to improve the condition of the donkeys, help them become wound free and prevent suffering. The donkey owners were given practical lessons on how to fit a harness properly, donuts (circular protectors), padding materials and how to make good U-shaped back protectors. A video film was made for this purpose and shown to the owners. Distributing soft cotton hobbles made from fabric waste prevented the hobble wounds. Re-homing abandoned donkeys to good owners and rewarding the owners for best-kept donkeys has encouraged the owners to keep their donkeys in good condition, wound free and fit. Distribution of hoof picks (modified screw drivers) encouraged owners to pick out donkeys' feet regularly to prevent lameness due to puncture wounds and hoof abscesses caused by thorns and sharp objects. Enthusiastic owners were picked and given training in basic donkey care. Efforts were taken to promote correct treatments and also encourage the use of readily available natural herbal products. A cartoon film, study materials in the form of pictures and cartoons were used to evoke interest among the donkey owner's children in basic donkey care. Public awareness included distributing storybooks, leaflets, organising camps at local agricultural and equine fairs and publishing articles in newspapers. A marked improvement in the donkeys' status, health, condition and owners care for their donkey has become a reality due to the implementation of extension and education activities.
In Western industrialised nations, within the domain of education and training, digital is now the default, where emerging technologies have increased connectedness to such a degree that they have driven a significant transformation in pedagogical methodologies. This is primarily due to the ease of access to smartphones and other connected personal devices. As a result, the constraints of location and time are no longer great barriers to learning, with learning possible to access in any mode and almost in any place and at any time. For geographically large countries such as China, these technologies can link the national to the international, connect city to city and the urban to the rural.
This paper will review existing blended learning approaches and how technology has influenced pedagogical approaches to teaching and training around animal welfare. A key component in the design of online learning resources is that it facilitates active design, production and of content. This can be shared in numerous formats, including text, images, sound, video, and online seminars and discussions, all of which are easily disseminated to potentially huge audiences. Such a ‘connected pedagogy’ also relies on establishing an environment that is characterised by meaningful engagement, problem-based learning, and peer-evaluation. The paper will review the approaches to be adopted by the Donkey Sanctuary on its learning platform and will demonstrate the design and implementation of and learning and training resources with specific reference to animal welfare and biosecurity.
The presentation concludes by placing animal welfare within the context of formal, moral education in China and how the philosophical and historical influences of Confucianism and Socialism have presented, as a key component, the maintenance of harmony between living and natural environments. This has made China an active promoter of sustainable development, an aspiration to which blended learning has much to contribute.
The Amhara region has the largest donkey population in Ethiopia. However, their welfare can be poor, due to environmental, disease and management problems. This is aggravated by cultural prejudices towards donkeys, their low economic value and the poverty of farmers. In 2003 the Donkey Sanctuary (Sidmouth, UK) investigated the perceived disease constraints to welfare. The investigation made many recommendations; including developing the capacity of the existing government veterinary service and helping make this service more available to donkey owners. In 2005, three government clinics were selected to take part in a pilot scheme. One veterinary surgeon and one animal health assistant from each clinic undertook to promote good medical treatment of donkeys in the area as well as participation in an extension programme aimed at improving donkey welfare. Basic drugs were supplied to the clinics free of charge and donkey owners were asked to pay only a nominal fee toward the cost of treatment. Many challenges were faced in developing this initiative including: finding personnel with the right knowledge, skills and most importantly attitude, negotiating with government bureaucracy and ensuring the availability and supply of drugs. Constant support and monitoring proved essential. The trial was reviewed after six months. This paper examines the lessons learned from this pilot study, the successes and failures, and reports on future developments.
In Ethiopia the Donkey Sanctuary started its health and welfare activities in 1994. This was the time when the International Donkey Protection Trust and Addis Ababa University concluded an agreement and signed a memorandum of understanding. Since that time and up to 2003, activities were centred in the districts of Bereh, Boset, Ada and Akaki and Addis Ababa Grain Market located at a radius of 100-150 kms from Debre Zeit, the centre with a stationery clinic. The facilities of the latter include an open-air clinic, surgical theatre, laboratory, store for drugs, boxes for mules and donkeys, offices and a training room. As of 2004, three districts namely: Dugda Bora, Lume and Sebata have been added as sites of operation. Resistance at the very beginning by donkey owners to bring their animals for treatment was a problem but over the years the service has obtained wide acceptance, the trend exhibiting exponential growth: Ada (R2=0.87), Akaki (R2=0.88), Bereh (R2=0.70), Boset (R2=0.70), and for mules (R2=0.84). The clinic has so far provided treatments to 289,999 donkeys and 14,665 mules, and 217,609 owners have benefited. In 2003 two satellite projects have been set up in the northern part of Ethiopia: Amhara and Tigray and have so far treated more than 72,000 donkeys and mules and more than 29,000 owners have benefited. The centre at Debre Zeit was also designed to cater for local and international training, to date it has provided training to 217 veterinary professionals (28 foreign vets, 41 local vets, 17 foreign and 101 local animal health assistants, 30 local animal health technicians) in donkey medicine, surgery, farriery and general welfare. Since 2002, 297 clinical year students enrolled for the DVM degree in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Addis Ababa University have been trained in donkey medicine and surgery. Three to four clinical year students accompany mobile teams in field operations on a weekly rotation basis. Recently, the project has embarked on an education and extension programme in conjunction with its treatment activities and so far 51,513 owners have benefited. In the recently launched school education programme 1014 students in 7 primary schools are attending sessions in the basics of animal welfare. Baseline data development for the understanding of the health and welfare problems of donkeys in Ethiopia is being pursued by the project staff and through the supervision of DVM thesis involving final year students.