ADDIS ABABA – BROOKE ACTTION for WORKING HORSES and DONKEYS stated that concerted efforts and policy-based measures need to be taken to curb illegal donkey’s skin trade (DST.)
Presenting a discussion paper at a half day event targeting at raising media awareness on how to preserve donkeys in particular and equines in general, Program Performance and Capacity Development Senior Manager, Tewodros Tesfaye (PhD) exhibited that that the number of donkeys is gradually decreasing across the globe. If countries do not work hand in glove to curb the threat, donkeys will be in a state of extinction within finger counted years. Now a day, there are more than 116 million equine across the world. Of this total number of equines, 57 million are horses, 55 million donkeys, and 7.9 million mules.
“Currently, Ethiopia has over 2.2 million horses, some 8.8 million donkeys, 0.4 million mules, 1,000,000 cart donkeys and 250,000 cart horses. Despite campaigns and sensitization efforts in Ethiopia in favor of animal welfare by charity organization like Brooke, the government of Ethiopia has allowed the Asela donkey abattoir to reopen after seven years of closure, which slaughters some 300 donkeys a day,” he noted.
He underlined that slaughtering donkeys will bring the socio-cultural damage among Ethiopians in the long run though it generates revenue for the government for the time being. Countries like Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana have banned the donkey skin trade (DST) due to its negative impact on the animals and the entire society.
However, Ethiopia’s donkey wealth is still unknowingly smuggled to other countries through Kenya and Sudan borders.
Country Director, Yohannes Kasim on his part said that Brooke Ethiopia has been undertaking various activities to protect equine animals since its inception. Oromia, Amhara, and the former Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ state are the main focus areas of Brooke Ethiopia. Of the various activities of Brooke, animal management system, improving the livelihoods of the society, and capacity building have been the major activities in which the organization has been engaging since years back.
He advised that Ethiopia should attach due emphasis to donkey protection so as to safeguard the majority of the community as they have strong association with the animals especially in rural parts of the country.
BY MESERET BEHAILU
THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD WEDNESDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2023