Mary Price is one of the people on Paros who helps us to plan and organise our outreach visits there. Both Mary and Marielli help us a great deal by spotting equines in need and contacting their owners to ask whether they would be willing for our team to treat their animals and teach them about improving welfare, which makes our visits even more worthwhile. We thank Mary, who is a journalist, for this contribution.Two workshops on equine welfare were the highlight of the 2015 GAWF visit to the island of Paros in the Greek Cyclades.
|School children feeding a donkey|
|Teaching children about donkey welfare|
|School children watching and learning|
‘It’s the same with feet’ added Aris, donkeys need their feet cleaned and if their nails are too long they have to be trimmed. Otherwise it is hard for them to walk’. Heads nodded sagely, this was all new information.
The lesson went on for the best part of an hour and the team took the opportunity to explain that donkeys can live for 40 years and during that time need food, water, shelter from heat, cold and rain and above all they should not be hobbled.
|An example of hobbling|
‘No hobbling’ agreed the children, it is not legal in Greece’ ‘I’m surprised they said this’ observed Elisa, ‘because almost every animal on this island is hobbled - often with disastrous consequences.’ She added ‘maybe with more work the new generation will change this practice. ‘But,’ she pointed out, ‘it is always slow to change old ways.’
|A common injury from hobbling|
Over the last year GAWF and Farmcare have worked together to find the most effective ways to demonstrate the benefits of electric fencing to the rural community of Paros. Farmcare has generously volunteered funds, time and effort to work with GAWF to develop a strategy for managing electric fencing in a way which is suitable for the conditions which are particular to farming on Paros.
|Elisa and Nick demonstrating safe use of fencing as an alternative to hobbling|
|Elisa giving an educational presentation|
As Nick Turck pointed out ‘This year I think we have communicated everything about electric fencing. The local teams are now skilled in every aspect of it. Each visitor to the fencing workshop was given a set of comprehensive leaflets packed with information on where to find support and how to work on new ways of welfare management.
|An elderly donkey receiving treatment|
|Educating a donkey owner|
‘It’s a normal tally’ said Elisa before adding ‘but the great thing is that now we are known on the island, people are coming to us. It’s taken five years, but people trust us here which is good. It means we are moving forward’.
|Treating long feet|
You can read a report about the team’s visit to Naxos here
|Aris trimming feet|
|Injecting a donkey|
|Feet before trimming|
|Feet after trimming|