Management, health and reproduction of donkeys used for work in peri-urban areas of West and East Shewa, Ethiopia : a survey

Pearson R. Anne, Alemayehu M., Tesfaye Abebe, Smith D.G., Kebede G., Asfaw M.. 2003. Management, health and reproduction of donkeys used for work in peri-urban areas of West and East Shewa, Ethiopia : a survey. In : Working animals in agriculture and transport : a collection of some current research and development observations. Pearson R. Anne (ed.), Lhoste Philippe (ed.), Saastamoinen Markku (ed.), Martin Rosset William (ed.). EAAP, University of Edinburgh, CIRAD, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, INRA. Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers, pp. 123-144. (EAAP technical series, 6) ISBN 90-76998-25-6 EAAP Annual Conference. 53, Caire, Égypte, 1 September 2002/4 September 2002.

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Abstract : The ways in which people use and manage donkeys involved in transport activities within peri-urban areas have been determined through the informal interviews of people working with donkeys in three main areas of Ethiopia: West Shewa with Addis Ababa, East Shewa zone I and zone II. A total of 385 rural householders, 322 peri-urban/urban transport operators who all kept and used donkeys for work were interviewed in the three different areas. People at meeting places (346) were also interviewed and their donkeys inspected by a veterinarian. Differences in management, use and attitudes were apparent between rural householders keeping donkeys and those keeping donkeys in a more urban environment, although there were also similarities. Donkey owners readily identified technical problems that limit their earning capacity in transport. More than half the owners reported donkey health problems, with most attributing them to over work, sores and feed shortages. Abortion and high mortality in youngstock were problems cited by owners of female donkeys, which were expected to produce a foal every 1-2 years. Despite placing considerable value on their donkeys people were generally reluctant to spend money on husbandry and veterinary interventions. This means that the technical interventions that are most likely to succeed are those that are targeted at owners who have most to lose if their donkeys are not fit and healthy. These members of the community have been identified in the surveys as owners of pregnant and young donkeys and those whose donkeys provide the only earning opportunities for the household.

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Pearson R. Anne, University of Edinburgh (GBR)
  • Alemayehu M., EARO (ETH)
  • Tesfaye Abebe, EARO (ETH)
  • Smith D.G., University of Edinburgh (GBR)
  • Kebede G., EARO (ETH)
  • Asfaw M., EARO (ETH)

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