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UC Davis to Host Donkey Welfare Symposium

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Tigger and Eeyore, two recent donkey patients of the UC Davis VMTH.

The University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine will host the inaugural Donkey Welfare Symposium on November 1-3, 2013. The three-day event will feature informative lectures and hands-on laboratories for donkey enthusiasts, veterinarians, technicians and students. More than 15 experts will present at the symposium, including Dr. Eric Davis, a leading authority on donkey health with more than 35 years of experience in animal welfare in rural areas and developing countries.

Goals of the symposium are to improve participants’ knowledge of donkey behavior and training, pharmacology, physiology, farriery, dentistry, parasites, management of sanctuary and feral donkey populations and many other related subjects. Veterinary experts from across the globe will lead discussions and demonstrate best practices for the attendees. 

Up to 21 hours of continuing education credit will be available for veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants who attend in Davis. For those unable to attend the symposium in person, a live interactive webinar will be available for only the 13 hours of lectures.

“With more than 44 million donkeys worldwide, this seminar holds great importance to hundreds of donkey caretakers throughout the world,” said Dr. Karl Jandrey, director of the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Center for Continuing Professional Education. “We have registrants coming from across the United States and internationally.” 

The majority of donkeys live in developing countries where the working animal is a family’s only lifeline to crucial items and activities such as water, fuel, land cultivation and transportation. Around the world, donkeys are used in agriculture, transport, herding, law enforcement, search and rescue, security, and equine-assisted therapy. As most donkeys can easily live up to 25-30 years, it is important to maintain their long-term health.

“With so little emphasis on the health and welfare of the world’s leading working animal, it is important for us to host this event and get the message out across the globe,” adds Dr. Jandrey.

Due to the unique nature of the event, it is of particular interest to graduate veterinary students with an interest in working with large animals and also undergraduate animal science or agriculture majors who may work with donkeys in their future careers. Many of the topics covered in the symposium’s lectures and labs are not typically covered as extensively in the students’ academic courses. 

This unique symposium is presented by the International Animal Welfare Training Institute at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Center for Continuing Professional Education, the UC Davis Animal Science Department and the Donkey Sanctuary. The agenda for the second annual Donkey Welfare Symposium are currently being formed for 2014.

Interested attendees can get more information and register at

Media Inquiries:
Rob Warren
VMTH Communications & Marketing

Event Inquiries:
Office of Veterinary Continuing Education