Volunteers share their experiences whilst working on a BEVA Trust project
Friday, January 24, 2020
In December Joana Bourbon, Jessica May and Paul Martynski spent two weeks in the Gambia and Paul Martynski shares his experience of working at The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust.
I have never done any charity work (I am ashamed to say), and I have never ventured south of the African Sahara; so two weeks working on behalf of the BEVA Trust in the smallest mainland country in Africa, was always going to be an interesting, if not at least enlightening trip.
At the beginning of December 2019, myself and two other veterinary volunteers, Joanna a registered equine nurse, and Jess a fellow vet, set off from Heathrow to Banjul (the capital of The Gambia for all you fact lovers). We were destined for The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT); a small charity set up by Stella Marsden OBE and Heather Armstrong her sister who now runs the charity. Their mission statement is to reduce rural poverty in The Gambia through improving the health, welfare and productivity of working animals. We were to find...
Friday, December 13, 2019
In November 2019 the BEVA Trust supported volunteers Dr Karl Holliman BVM&S CertEP MRCVS and Jeffrey Newnham DipWCF to travel to Morocco to spend a week at The American Fondouk .
Jeff Newnham shares his experience and passion for volunteering.
Karl Holliman delivered Dental Training throughout the week with 3 days of lectures and wet lab based training to visiting Vets and Vet students. Jeff Newnham with Mohamed Larbi Souhail (Fondouk Vet) presented 2 lectures focusing on farriery and diseases of the foot. Ongoing podiatry training for resident Vets/Interns and Students from Wipers, Glasgow, focused on the use of adhesives in effecting hoof repairs.
With 90% of the world’s equids receiving attention from less than 10% of the world’s equine vets it is essential that the link between this huge number and the Veterinary industry is improved. One of the ways this can be achieved is by those with experience to put themselves forward to teach and pass on skills in areas of the world...
Thursday, November 28, 2019
Rosie Olley, Taja Vajs and Graham Duncanson travelled to Kiev, Ukraine in October to speak at the annual 3 day Equine Veterinary Seminar covering topics of internal medicine, orthopedics, dentistry and general practice.
Volunteers for 2019 were:
Rosie Olley BVSc MScVPS CertAVP(EM), who has recently completed a Residency in Equine Internal Medicine at the University of Liverpool and now works in private practice at Scott Mitchell & Associates (an XL practice).
Taja Vajs DVM, who has recently completed equine internships at both Dierenkliniek De Morette, Belgium and subsequently the University of Liverpool, UK and recently started a Residency in Equine Surgery at the University of Vienna, Austria.
Graham Duncanson BVSc, who has actually spoken at this conference twice in the past, brings a lifetime of experience of working with equids in challenging environments, such as Kenya, and running his own practice.
The lecture topics were selected by the conference organisers based on what...
Monday, October 28, 2019
Now the final clinic for 2019 has successfully taken place we can now look forward to the clinics planned for spring 2020. Two clinics took place this Autumn, the first in Newark, Nottinghamshire led by Sarah Smith from Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons. A great team of 8 vets volunteered and worked brilliantly together. 32 horses attended with 16 of those castrated. At the second clinic in York an impressive team of 11 vet and 3 vet nurse volunteers were led by BEVA Council member Phil Cramp. It was a busy day, 41 horses attended with 21 of those castrated. Following the clinic 3 rigs were also castrated at Hambleton Equine Practice.
The BEVA Trust and BHS joint initiative is in its fourth year and a total of 1228 horses have now attended the clinics around the country with 563 castrations. Coordinated by the British Horse Society with support from a number of other equine welfare charities, the clinics provide castrations, dental care, farriery, worming, microchipping and passporting for...
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Volunteers Luke Edwards and Helen Braid from Leahurst Equine Practice at the University of Liverpool recently travelled to Lesotho to support World Horse Welfare at an equine welfare clinic in Semonkong. Luke shares his experience in his report:
In late September 2019, my colleague Helen Braid MRCVS and I flew to Lesotho to assist at a veterinary clinic for the working equines of the Semonkong district.
Before the clinic Lesotho was a country, I had vaguely heard of but certainly could not point out on the map. I soon found out that the “Kingdom in the Sky” is a small country, surrounded by South Africa. It is highly mountainous, very beautiful and has the highest, lowest point of any country in the world. Nowhere is lower than 1000m above sea level and Semonkong was at 2500m altitude. It is also very poor, ranked 160 out of 189 countries in the UN Human Development Index, with an average life expectancy of 48 years, the population having been devastated by HIV, with up to 25%...
Friday, September 13, 2019
BEVA Trust volunteers are continuing to show their passion for horse welfare. They have helped to make a difference to 1196 horses in the UK over the past four years, as well as hundreds of horses around the world.
The BEVA Trust provides opportunities, support and funding to allow BEVA members to volunteer for projects that enhance equine welfare both locally and globally.
The BEVA Trust and British Horse Society have worked together for the past four years and in this time have run 25 education and welfare castration clinics around the country. So far 181 BEVA members, together with nurses, students, and farriers have volunteered their time and expertise to help a total of 1196 horses. Coordinated by the British Horse Society, and with practical support from a number of other equine welfare charities, the clinics provide dental care, farriery, worming, microchipping and passporting for horses identified to be in need, as well as castration if required. A total of 547 horses have now...
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
The most recent BEVA Trust project took place at The Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences of the Estonian University of Life Sciences, in Tartu. Estonian equine vets and veterinary students joined together for a weekend of imaging seminars and practical sessions. The seminars covered a range of topics, including the fetlock, tarsus, stifle, neck and back, head, thorax and eye. Radiography and ultrasonography techniques were discussed, along with common pathologies and some anatomy.
Two days of practical sessions gave the equine vets and vet students time to put theory into practice. A demonstration was first given for the ultrasound practical sessions on a big screen before delegates were able to practice themselves. The metacarpus, distal flexor tendon sheath, fetlock and pastern regions, along with the stifle, thorax and eye were covered in these sessions. Radiography practical sessions were tailored to the experiences of the delegates, with the equine vets choosing...
Thursday, March 28, 2019
An excellent start to 2019 with the first two UK projects now successfully completed. 23 BEVA members volunteered their expertise and time to support the two education and welfare clinics in March. The first clinic of the year was held near Durham with BEVA Council member Phil Cramp as lead veterinary surgeon. 11 vets and 2 vet nurses volunteered and 42 horses attended with 17 of those castrated.
At the second clinic in Cardiff, council member Ollie Crowe led the team in what was sometimes a vertically challenging but rewarding day. A total of 76 horses attended the clinic with 17 of those castrated.
The BEVA Trust and BHS joint initiative is in its fourth year and a total of 1134 horses have now attended the clinics around the country with 517 castrations. Coordinated by the British Horse Society with support from a number of other equine welfare charities, the clinics provide castrations, dental care, farriery, worming, microchipping and passporting for horses identified to be in...
Monday, March 11, 2019
After the success of the first two BEVA Trust volunteers, Sara Fleck and Christine Fuchs, visit to the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT) in December last year, another opportunity was given to me, to visit the charity in the beginning of February. I had volunteered with the charity at the end of my time at university and was very excited to be given the opportunity to visit the charity again. The GHDT, which is run by the director Heather Armstrong and managed by the two long term volunteers, Katana Ashby from the UK and Karelhia Garcia-Lopez from Venezuela, has two bases. One in Sambel Kunda which is the original site of the charity and Makasutu which is located only 30 minutes from Banjul airport. Because I had seen the start of the building of the Makasutu centre on my previous trip, it was incredible to see how large a clinic it has become.
The centre in Makasutu is run by the two long term volunteers and they play a vital role in giving the short term volunteers the ability...
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
The BEVA Trust sent Sara Fleck and Christine Fuchs to the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust to support veterinary care and education out there. they share their experience with us..
At the start of December Christine and I travelled out to The Gambia to spend 2 weeks with The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust.
The Trust was founded in 2002 by the late Stella Marsden and her sister Heather Armstrong (who remains director of the charity). Heather and Stella spent their childhood in The Gambia where their father ran the Forestry Department and later became the first director of the Wildlife Department of The Gambia establishing the Abuko Nature Reserve.
The Gambia is a former British colony and gained independence in 1965. It is the smallest country on the African continent and remains one of the poorest. Donkeys and horses are an essential and valuable asset to farmers in The Gambia. A healthy working animal can increase a farming family’s income by 500% however the combination of poverty, poor...
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
For the last seven years the BEVA Trust has supported the Equine Veterinary Seminar in Kiev, allowing the organisers to develop a format that is both practical and exciting. The seminar has generated interest and delegate attendance from across Eastern Europe where the ethos of CPD is unheard of. The contribution from the external specialists has provided a perfect stimulus for the equine profession in the region but they do not have people of this sort of standing yet in their region. Therefore the BEVA Trust once again agreed to fund external speakers/volunteers for the seminar in 2018. The external speakers sponsored by the Trust were BEVA Council member Huw Griffiths, Victoria South and Suzy Hall.
Lecture titles included orthopedics, neurological diseases in horses, reproduction, sepsis in horses and welfare of horses. It was a busy time for the volunteers and over the three days lectures and practical demonstrations took place at the conference centre.
Olga Polataiko and Anatoly...
Monday, November 12, 2018
Kernow Farm & Equine Director Alistair Todd and his assistant Kitty gave valuable time, care, and attention to volunteer for a one-off castration project at the Shires Holt Horse Sanctuary, Cornwall early in November 2018.
Eight feral ponies were to be castrated, which would be no mean feat. In the weeks building up to the planned day the Sanctuary had been working exhaustively to prepare the last 8 colts at the Sanctuary for castration. A programme of socialization and handling was, not only for the management aspects but also to ease the whole situation for the colts. It would be a massively traumatic experience for any feral pony.
It was an absolute success of a day and all the colts coped very well. No signs of fear or distress. The hard work of the Shires Holts team to prepare the colts for the day paid off and now their new life can begin. Homes have been secured for 4 of the ponies now. Once the other 4 ponies have made a full recovery the sanctuary will look for new homes...
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Eager BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers have shown their passion for horse welfare by helping make a difference to the lives of more than 1000 horses in the UK. 125 volunteers have participated in a total of 21 national equine healthcare and education clinics to date. This is in addition to those BEVA members who have volunteered their services for overseas work with the BEVA Trust.
The BEVA Trust provides opportunities, support and funding to allow BEVA members to volunteer for projects that enhance equine welfare both locally and globally.
Over the past three years vets, nurses, students, and farriers have volunteered their time and expertise to help a total of 1017 horses attending health care clinics around the country. Coordinated by the British Horse Society, and with practical support from a number of other equine welfare charities, the clinics provide dental care, farriery, worming, microchipping and passporting for horses identified to be in need. A total of 483 horses have...
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
As a two year graduated mixed practitioner, my opportunities for equine castrates can be few and far between, so when I saw the advert on the BEVA website I jumped on the opportunity to be a part of a BEVA Trust Castration Clinic. This did however mean that I had to step/leap out of my comfort zone. I was worried that the other members of the team would be more confident than myself and that my limited experience would be a hindrance to the team rather than a help. So it was a rather anxious drive to Ardingly in West Sussex on a very bleak Wednesday morning.
Our base camp was the South of England Showground which was ideal as we had a lot of undercover work space, a luxury that cannot always be provided on these days. We were expecting 65 horses/ponies for passporting, microchipping, worming and 35 of these were booked for castration. These were performed in individual scaffolding pens and each vet was provided with an assistant. After a group meeting and a vets huddle my concerns about...
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The BEVA Trust sent volunteers to WEVA 2018 to support the conference and provide speakers. Gill Riley talks about his experience...
I was delighted to be chosen to give a presentation at the WEVA congress in Beijing but more than a little unsure when the topic of ‘Equine Parasites and Colic’ was the one allocated to me. For an ambulatory vet with a tendency towards lameness and laminitis, this was going to be a challenging subject. I settled somewhat however when I realised it was one that would afford me a great opportunity to employ lots of striking and distinctive illustrations when composing my PowerPoint!
I prepared well in advance, partly because I knew as the trip drew close I would be working nineteen to the dozen to get my day to day work covered, but also because I have the good fortune to count Professor Derek Knottenbelt amongst my closest professional friends – after one phone call I very soon had an in-box full of material and photos of parasites, necrotic bowels and verminous...
Friday, April 20, 2018
A very successful first castration clinic for 2018 took place on Wednesday 4th April at the South of England showground in Ardingly where volunteers castrated 32 horses.
Previously delayed by snow in February, the weather forecast was much kinder this time. Although another beast was forecast the option of working under cover gave security of getting through the large number of horses booked in for the day.
We had 32 castrations which included a 10 year old coloured stallion and a number of shetland ponies.
In total 65 horses/ponies attended which were wormed as needed, microchipped and passported. Some even received dental treatment.
A huge thank you all the BEVA Trust volunteers who gave up their time to support the day:
plus students Ewan Macaulay, Izzy Wild, Kath Gray and Mariella Savage
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
In February 2018 BEVA Volunteers were sent to the Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust to help provide veterinary care and education. The volunteers tell us how they got on.
The UK registered equine charity is managed by Heather Armstrong and runs two stationary veterinary outposts in the small former British colony just north of the equator. The organisation has the vision to reduce rural poverty by increasing productivity of working animals in in the country. Donkeys and horses play an essential role in transportation of goods for the Gambians, and by providing education and veterinary care the charity provide important support to local communities, improving not only the welfare of the animals but of their owners too.
During the first week Karen and Markus joined the staff at the Makasutu main station – not far from Gambia’s international airport. Here a purpose-built facility including stables, treatment and storage rooms, staff quarters, accommodation for visiting vets and a classroom...
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The BEVA Trust sponsored workshop at the Estonian University of Life Sciences took place from 2nd to 4th February 2018. The first day consisted of lectures focused primarily on wound assessment, healing and management. The lectures were intended to provide practical tips and be useful in the field. They were attended by lecturers at the Estonia University of Life Sciences, veterinary surgeons practicing in Estonia and Finland, and veterinary students from Estonia and Finland. Topics covered included wound assessment and management, dealing with synovial sepsis, dealing with wound complications, assessment and management of the lame horse and then in the afternoon sessions on field anaestheisia, castration complications, eneucleation, surgery of the foot and sinus surgery.
This was followed by two days of practical sessions; the first for veterinary surgeons and the second for veterinary students. This format allowed the delegates to practice the techniques discussed within the lectures...
Friday, December 15, 2017
The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is proud to have won a prestigious award for its contribution to equine welfare. The award was presented at The British Horse Society’s (BHS) annual awards ceremony, held at Saddlers’ Hall in London, on Friday (24 November).
The BEVA Trust, which is the association’s volunteering arm, was presented with the BHS Welfare Award ‘for excellent service in the cause of equine welfare’. It was received by Julian Samuelson, Chair of the BEVA Trust and Fiona Cunnington, BEVA Trust Secretariat, from BHS President Martin Clunes.
The BEVA Trust provides opportunities, support and funding to allow members of the veterinary team to volunteer for projects that enhance equine welfare both locally and globally. Through the support of the BEVA Trust, volunteers have supported the BHS health care campaign and have castrated 342 horses over the past two years. All this support has come in the form of vets, nurses, students, and farriers volunteering their...
Friday, September 16, 2016
BEVA Trust’s new focus on voluntary projects has inspired more than 45 BEVA members to get stuck in to some challenging healthcare and education initiatives both at home and abroad this year.
The BEVA Trust is the British Equine Veterinary Association’s philanthropic arm and was established almost 50 years ago. Historically the bulk of its expenditure was small grants relating to travel and education. However last year members decided the Trust should provide support for voluntary projects to help improve knowledge and welfare. They kicked off by assisting with a series of castration and healthcare clinics in the UK and helping with veterinary training schemes around the world.
Over the past year BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers have worked with the British Horse Society (BHS), Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Blue Cross, RSPCA, Horseworld and World Horse Welfare to help run five castration and healthcare clinics in the UK. They opened lines of communication with owners whose horses are...
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
BEVA Trust volunteer Marta Ferrari recently spent five days in Cambodia, working with World Horse Welfare on an Equine Welfare Workshop aimed at assisting the Cambodia Pony Welfare Organisation to deliver advise to village vets working in rural areas. Below is a report from Marta on her trip:
When I stepped out of the plane in Phnom Penh, the hot and humid air that got hold of my throat gave me a hint of what a challenge it is to work outdoors (and keep horses!) in a tropical climate. Yoki and Sengly from The Cambodia Pony Welfare Association were waiting for me at arrivals holding a board with my name written on it. As I approached them with a smile, they welcomed me to Cambodia with a big laugh: they were expecting a man! Apparently names ending with” A” are for males here!
They quickly got over the surprise and kindly drove me to the Cambodian Country Club, where most of the workshop would be held.
In the afternoon I met Rinda Nop, the main vet from the Cambodia Pony Welfare...