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ITC India: Working Equine Health and Welfare Training Course

WVS India was established in 2010 to improve animal health and welfare through veterinary skills development, inspiration and advice. Since the establishment, WVS India ITC has become known as a centre of excellence in providing high-quality surgical training courses for veterinarians. WVS India team has also conducted regular street clinics for working equines, especially donkeys, in Southern India and the results of this work clearly shows what a significant improvement the clinics have done for the life of the working donkeys. We have also seen how young veterinarians can benefit from attending these clinics to get more experience and understanding about working equines and their health and welfare needs. It is from this background that we are now developing a new training course concept to be based at the WVS ITC in Ooty.

In Ooty and the surrounding areas, donkeys are used as a vital part of families' livelihoods and therefore their welfare is of the utmost importance. There are also issues surrounding ex-racehorses that end their days living on the streets, eating rubbish off the side of the road causing terrible illness and injury. By working with the local community, WVS India and participants on this course can offer a long-term practical solution to ensure the on-going welfare of these animals.

The objectives of the training programme are:

  • To provide the horses and ponies on Ooty streets with regular veterinary service
  • To provide the owners of these horses with support and advice in concepts of first aid, good husbandry practices and animal welfare
  • To bring together various influential members of the Ooty community to work together for improved street horse welfare
  • To bring together the municipality and the streethorse owners to identify and agree on common safe grazing grounds, registration of the horses and owners and ultimately enforce the responsible ownership towards the street horses
  • To provide young veterinary professionals with hands-on skills and understanding about the various issues affecting working equine health and welfare, especially in India
  • To provide people working in Indian animal shelters with skills and understanding about horses and their welfare requirements
  • To support the care of the rescued horses, ponies and donkeys at the IPAN Hill View Farm Animal Refuge and to provide the participants with a holistic picture of the working equine welfare situation and what can be done.

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