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Working animals in the mountains

In October 2016 the Portuguese Association for Animal Traction APTRAN together with the European working horse network FECTU organized a symposium on THE XXI CENTURY MOUNTAINS:SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF MOUNTAINOUS AREAS BASED ON ANIMAL TRACTION in Bragança (Portugal) during the Ist INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN MOUNTAIN REGIONS. The following abstracts of the symposium underline the relevance of working animals worldwide and the important role they continue to play today. After an overview of the renaissance of working horses in Europe in the last decades different aspects of the possible use and further development of animal traction are presented, based on experiences in Portugal, Switzerland and Italy and dealing with societal, economical, environmental and agrotechnical issues.
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Hand labor, tractor labor and horse labor: a question of power and scale

"To understand why we farm the way we do today it is important to look back to where our agriculture began and how it changed. From there onward we can look at the question: Why do we farm or why would we want to farm with live horse power in small scale vegetable farming? When we look at hand labor, tractor labor and horse labor as three different power sources,where do horses fit in? From the historical perspective to a present day perspective we can shine new light on having (a) 'four legged employee(s)'."
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Attelages bovins d'aujourd'hui

This French blog provides information about working oxen for practitioners and enthusiasts: videos, contacts, events, websites etc. Although it is focused on the current situation in France it also gives access to old archives and refers to the use of working oxen in other countries.
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Donkeys and mules in the "New World"

This contribution was presented at the SOAS DONKEY CONFERENCE 2012. The author deals with the roles of donkeys and mules in Latin America and especially in the Andes after the arrival of the Spanish conquerors and he describes their importance for transport and their impact on economy and society.
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