The main aim of our Equine Project is to examine and treat as many equines, mostly working animals (mules and donkeys), as possible through our outreach visits in various areas of Greece. GAWF’s Equine Project reaches rural areas of Greece where equines have no access to trained equine professionals for assistance, and where owners are usually unaware of the basic practices to ensure their equines’ welfare, despite their reliance on equines as working animals. It is also an important capacity building project as GAWF’s team provides basic skill training to the local community. Our project is the only one of its kind in Greece.

One of our main goals is to educate and train the locals so that they are able to continue to support the welfare of their animals after our team has left, thus providing a sustainable long-term solution to local communities. It is fundamentally important to not only provide a high level of veterinary, dental, and farriery care to the equines of the areas we visit but to also ensure that these equines continue having basic care throughout the year. This is achieved via the following activities:

Veterinarians: Tertiary education in veterinary practice in Greece is greatly lacking of basic level of equine education, thus the vast majority of qualifying veterinarians have no experience in equine care. In every outreach we invite veterinarians and teach them some important aspects of equine veterinary care, as well as basic dentistry and farriery. We also organize advanced seminars throughout the year, included in GAWF’s wider Equine Project, where everyone is invited to attend in order to gain more experience, increase their knowledge concerning equine dentistry and farriery and raise awareness about equine welfare.

Farriers: Professional farriers are hard to find in Greece, with most of the farriers being self-taught, thus not always providing the best care. During our outreach visits, we always invite the local farriers to observe and work with our professionals in order to gain more experience and increase their skills; ensuring this way that all the equines have access to proper care in our absence.

Dental Technicians: The basic principles of dentistry are taught not only to veterinarians, but also to owners and lay people that are interested in that aspect of equine work and are eager to help their equines. They start with some basic techniques, advancing later as they attend seminars or other outreach sessions to which we invite them.

Welfare groups: In every area we visit we collaborate with the local welfare groups. They are invited, in order to gain more experience with our team and also to assess more efficiently any welfare related cases they face throughout the year by coordinating with our actions.

Owners: During our outreach visits, we also train the owners to assess their equines’ welfare more efficiently and we always encourage them to ask for advice in order to gain further knowledge in areas they are uncertain of. Our advice and instructions mainly concern management, feeding, worming, vaccinations and the most common ailments.