Assessment of Socio-economic Importance and Major Constraints of Working Equines in and around Debre Berhan Town, Central Ethiopia

*Corresponding author: Abaynew Gelaye and Haben Fesseha*

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original research

Abstract

Background
Equines play a crucial role in the Ethiopian economy; however, their welfare is extremely poor. Wounds, eye problems, lameness, hoof problems, parasites, and poor body condition were the most dominant welfare issues identified from different part of the country.
Aim
The objective of this study was to assess the socio-economic importance and constraints of equines in and around Debre Berhan town, North Shewa Zone of the Amhara region, Central Ethiopia.
Material and Methods
A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was carried from November 2016 to April 2017 and a total of 150 equine owners from the three districts namely Debre Berhan (97), Basonaworana (41), and Chacha districts (12) were interviewed during the study period.
Results
Accordingly, 66 (44%) and 46 (30.67%) of respondents use their equines for packing and carting. Besides, equines were also used for other social activities such as a funeral (2%), marriage (5.33%), religious ceremonies (23.33%), and mixed uses (69.34%). Diseases (46.67%), feed shortage (26%), water shortage (18%), and market unavailability of what (9.33%) were among the major constraints identified in the area. Moreover, gastrointestinal parasites (30%), back sore (16.67%), lameness (21.33%), colic (12%), and other diseases (20%) were the major health constraints of working equines in the study area.
Conclusion
The welfare and management of working equines in the study sites need more close attention and should be improved. Awareness creation through training in the welfare problems of equines is advantageous to fully exploit these animals.