The purpose of this document is to provide details of those requirements that are necessary to ensure the wellbeing of the donkeys that are being cared for as part of El Refugio del Burrito’s Foster Scheme, and to assist Foster Owners to derive the maximum pleasure from having the donkeys in their care. It should also be noted that these Terms and Conditions form part of the Foster Agreement. Both parties to the Agreement therefore agree to abide by all of the contents.
- Owing to their propensity to form close bonds of friendship, donkeys are normally sent out as pairs or small bonded groups.
- Subject to current availability, there is provision for the placement of a single donkey as a companion to a privately-owned donkey. In such circumstances there is a requirement that ownership of such privately owned donkey be transferred to El Refugio del Burrito. This will be subject to a ‘cooling off’ period of 21 days to allow the Foster Owner to reconsider his or her position prior to receiving a donkey under the Foster Scheme.
- Donkeys are not provided as companions to horses or ponies. In circumstances where horses and/or ponies are being cared for at the same premises, it is important that these are separately managed and housed.
- El Refugio del Burrito regrets that donkeys cannot be placed on the Foster Scheme at remote locations.
- The donkeys in the Foster Scheme remain the property of El Refugio del Burrito, who will continue to have prime responsibility for their wellbeing. In this connection, it is necessary that El Refugio del Burrito retains the right to remove a donkey or donkeys from a Foster Owner if, in the view of El Refugio del Burrito, it is necessary to do so.
- It is strongly recommended that the Foster Owner obtains Third Party Liability Cover for the donkeys in the unlikely event the donkeys cause damage to other people’s property or cause an accident. El Refugio del Burrito will not be held liable for any such happening.
- The cost of feed and bedding and of dental, farriery and other veterinary care will be the responsibility of the Foster Owner.
- All prospective Foster Owners, together with others who may have responsibility for caring, are invited to attend a Donkey Care Induction Day, in order to familiarise themselves with the charity’s procedures and best practice. These courses are held at El Refugio del Burrito at Fuente de Piedre, Malaga, Spain.
- It is in the interests of the prospective Foster Owner that the training course should be undertaken in advance of any expenditure that may be required to make structural improvements to accommodate foster donkeys.
- Foster Owners are invited to further develop their knowledge of donkey care and behaviour by attending more advanced training courses.
- A minimum of 150sqm of grazing land per donkey. The actual amount required may be greater than this dependant on the terrain, climate, drainage and soil. The Welfare Officer will advise. This pasture should be well drained, free from natural or man-made hazards, and suitable pasture management is to be implemented.
- External perimeter fencing must be permanent, secure and well maintained, in order to safely contain the donkeys at all times.
- Poisonous plants, shrubs and trees must be removed or fenced off as appropriate. Fruit trees may have to be fenced off in season.
- Donkeys should be protected from animals that may harm or cause anguish to them.
Stable or shelter
- The donkeys must have access to permanent shelter at all times.
- The dimensions of stables and/or shelters should measure at least 4.5sqm per donkey and be of windproof and waterproof construction. These dimensions are based on accommodating two medium sized donkeys, therefore they will require adjustment if larger donkeys or more than two are to be housed.
- A hard standing is necessary inside the shelter, and at the entrance. This should be either a permanent concrete base or paving slabs. The use of other materials must be discussed with the Welfare Officer beforehand. Material such as hardcore and gravel are not suitable for this purpose.
- A constant supply of clean drinking water is essential.
- Foster Owners need to spend sufficient time with the donkeys. This will generally improve the sociability and well-being of the donkeys.
- Donkeys should be checked twice daily, and this routine should include picking out the donkeys’ feet, grooming and mucking out stables.
- Ongoing support to Foster Owners is provided by a Welfare Officer who will make routine visits at intervals of approximately 3-4 months. Additionally, advice on any matter relating to the donkeys can be obtained by contacting the Welfare Officer.
- The Welfare Officer should be informed of any major changes in circumstances that may have a significant effect on the welfare of the donkeys.
- No breeding is permitted with any of the donkeys.
- In the unlikely event of a foal being born to a foster donkey, the foal shall be owned by El Refugio del Burrito who will determine the most appropriate arrangements for the foal’s future wellbeing.
- The donkeys may not be used for commercial or promotional activities without prior consent of El Refugio del Burrito. Foster Owners should also check that the proposed activity is covered under the terms of their insurance policy.
- Prior to delivery of the donkeys, details should be provided to the Welfare Officer of proposed arrangements in respect of veterinary, farriery and dental care of the donkeys. The Welfare Officer will be able to assist with details of a veterinary practice that specialises in equine care and of other specialists.
- Donkeys’ hooves must be trimmed regularly by a suitable farrier, This will normally be at intervals of 6-10 weeks.
- Worming tests and treatment are to be done in accordance with guidelines from the attending veterinary surgeon.
- Vaccinate against flu annually and tetanus every two years. If separate vaccines are not available, a combined flu and tetanus vaccination should be given every year.
- Annual dental checks to be carried out by an experienced veterinary surgeon or recommended equine dental technician. Whenever possible a dental chart should be obtained following each examination and treatment. This should be shown to the Welfare Officer, if requested.
- If a donkey becomes significantly ill or suffers serious injury or ailment, the Foster Owner should ask a veterinary surgeon or farrier, as appropriate, to attend. This information should be relayed to a Welfare Officer as soon as practicable.
Death of a donkey
- When a donkey dies it is important that the Welfare Officer is notified without delay.
- Under certain circumstances a post mortem may be required. In this connection the decision will be taken following consultation with the veterinary surgeon from El Refugio del Burrito.
- Having regard to the wellbeing of any remaining donkey, the Welfare Officer will discuss with the Foster Owner the most appropriate course of action to be followed.
- It is a legal requirement that an EU equine passport must be obtained by El Refugio del Burrito in respect of every donkey.
- The passport must accompany the donkey to which it refers when relocated under the Foster Scheme. It must be returned when the donkey dies or is returned to El Refugio del Burrito.
- The passport must be produced, when requested, to a Welfare Officer, attending veterinary surgeon or a local authority enforcement officer.
- Foster Owners are advised that, in the event of donkeys being taken for any reason (however temporary) from the place where they are normally kept, the Foster Owners and/or transporter must ensure that the passports are available for inspection either during the journey or at the new location.
- In the event of the passport being lost, the Welfare Officer must be notified so that a replacement can be requested. The Foster Owner is required to pay for the cost of the replacement.
- "The Donkeys" refers to the donkeys set out in the Foster Owners Foster Agreement with El Refugio del Burrito.
- "The donkey" refers to any one of such donkeys.
- "A Welfare Officer" is a representative of El Refugio del Burrito who is responsible for the provision of on-going support and advice to Foster Owners.
- "Privately Owned Donkey" means any donkey or other equid that is currently owned by the Foster Owners and any others that may be acquired subsequent to the Foster Owners Agreement with El Refugio del Burrito.
- "Farrier” means any farrier who is approved by El Refugio del Burrito.
- "Donkey Passport" is an identification document issued by a recognised body in compliance with current legal requirements. The passport remains the property of El Refugio del Burrito throughout the lifetime of the donkey to which it refers.