Thursday, 23 September 2010

The normal method of load carrying is the ‘Scotch Cart’. No-one seems to know how it got its name – a small wooden or metal box on two wheels pulled by an assorted number of donkeys. Originally they would have been drawn by oxen – but oxen are for the rich – so now donkeys have to do the work, and using a central pole and other gear better suited to cattle. Never mind, that’s just how it is. The SPANA project there, the Donkey Protection Trust, provides the most basic care for them.
The team have become expert in renovating the Fred Karnoish bits of wire and webbing that pass for harness. With wire cutters, cold rivets, a few buckles and spare straps, they can convert these amazing contraptions into something that will actually transmit the energy of the donkeys into the pulling of the cart, without creating sores and wounds on the animal.
A bit of extra padding, cleaning and dressing any obvious sores, perhaps worming a this one, a good talking to the owner, and then they are on their way again.
Hardly cutting edge veterinary science – but very effective.


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