Joao qualified at the University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro (2007), was classified as an Expert in Veterinary Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery by the Complutense University of Madrid (2011), and obtained a Ph.D. focusing on research in the field of donkey dentistry (2013). He was appointed as Professor of Medicine and Surgery of Equids in Portugal in 2013 and joined The Donkey Sanctuary in 2016.
Joao has extensive donkey medical and welfare experience in Europe and with working donkeys globally, is a regular lecturer, tutor, and practical assessor in equid dentistry worldwide, and has published numerous articles and contributions to books. He is the chair of the Portuguese Association of Animal Traction (APTRAN) and the FECTU - European Draught Horse Federation.
Ben Hart is one of the UK's leading equine trainers, with a background in agriculture and a family history working with heavy horses. Ben has worked with horses, mules and donkeys all over the world: from mustangs and race horses in California, stock horses in Australia, and working equines in Cambodia and Ethiopia.
Ben's use of the science of equine behaviour rather than a one method approach has been successful with traumatised animals at the UK's leading equine charities, and his ability to work with Human behaviour has been utilised by world leading animal welfare organisations such as WSPA, The Brooke and The Donkey Sanctuary.
Ben's delivery of training is unique, ensuring an outstanding training experience that is enjoyable and life changing.
Since July 2020, FECTU has been promoting a monthly webinar, covering different
topics focused on health and welfare of working animals, but also on different uses
in all kinds of activities. These webinars will continue in 2021 and are included in
the continuous training programme, as a way to share knowledge and bring
together professionals from different areas, having in common the passion for
animal traction and working animals.
As a result, FECTU has launched the new YouTube
channel, where all the webinars will be available. We hope you will enjoy the
content of this channel!
On the 9th of June, the Donkey Sanctuary promoted a webinar focused on Modern animal traction: current situation, challenges and opportunities.
Joao Rodrigues, Pit Schlechter and Erhard Schroll were the guests of this webinar, which counted with attendees from all over the world.
It was the perfect opportunity to explore the reality in Europe around working equids.