Leading experts from the field of equine welfare are set to deliver a “groundbreaking conference” resulting in the development of new approaches benefiting working horses and donkeys, and their owners.

Leading experts from the field of equine welfare are set to deliver a groundbreaking conference resulting in the development of new approaches benefiting working horses and donkeys, and their owners.
 
The 2010 International Colloquium on Working Equids, entitled “Learning from others”, will take place at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, India, from November 29 to December 2.
 
In Ecuador, the harvest of a special plant whose leaves are used  for fabric, is transported by mulesHosted on this occasion by equine animal welfare charity The Brooke, the sixth colloquium will see keynote speakers from international development, social science, human health and education, joining animal scientists, veterinarians and others working in the field.
 
Joy Pritchard, the Brooke’s senior animal welfare and research advisor, said: “Working horses, mules and donkeys are integral to rural transport and food production, distribution and security in developing countries. There are 100 million of them in the world and the majority are owned by individuals who use them as their sole or main means of income, so this is a vital topic for discussion.”
 
Up to 200 guests from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas are expected to attend the four day event, comprising lectures and sessions on topics such as:

  • Facilitating human behaviour change;
  • Effective project planning, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Livelihoods, rural transport and the global context;
  • Balancing the needs of humans and animals – the ethics of animal use;
  • Education to engage the next generation;
  • Decision-making in health and disease;
  • Animal health and husbandry systems; and
  • Lessons from working oxen, buffalo and camels.

There will be an optional one-day field visit for delegates to see the Brooke’s work in India first-hand.
 
Joy said: “As part of our ongoing commitment to improving the health and welfare of working equine animals, the Brooke is delighted to see delegates from over 40 organisations attending this colloquium.”
 
Since 1991 the International Colloquium on Working Equids has been an important forum for discussing key health, welfare and productivity issues. Organisers claim the conference will provide an “excellent opportunity to learn from one another, sharing best practice and ultimately benefiting working donkeys, horses and mules worldwide”.
 
The 2010 colloquium is hosted by The Brooke and supported by a scientific committee and sponsors, including The Donkey Sanctuary, SPANA, World Horse Welfare, WSPA and the University of Bristol.

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