Assessment of Welfare Problems on Working Donkeys in Hosaena District, Hadiya Zone, Southern Ethiopia

*Corresponding author: Shiferaw Moltumo, Mesfin Mathewos, Haben Fesseha* and Metages Yirgalem

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original research

Abstract

Aim

The objective of this study was to assess the major welfare problems in working donkeys in Hosaena district, Hadiya Zone, Southern Ethiopia.

Methods and Materials

A total of 318 male and 76 female working donkeys were randomly selected using a cross-sectional study from November 2015 to April 2016.

Results

According to the current investigation, 70% of donkeys were used for draught and 30% were used for pack type of work. All females (100%) were used for packing purpose, whereas 86.8% of male donkeys were used for draught purpose. Overall, 41.6% of donkeys had a poor body condition in all age groups, whereas most donkeys (44.3%) under the age group less than 5-years were having poor conditions. Regarding wound on the skin, a higher proportion (82.2%) of back lesions were observed in pack donkeys whereas lip lesions were observed in 87.7% of draught donkeys. Besides, the welfare problem was observed in 28.9% of working donkeys due to overloading. A significant association (p<0.01) was found between the duration of working hours of donkey and poor body condition. Out of the interviewed, the majority of animal owners (76.4%) had one donkey.

Conclusion

The assessment showed that working donkeys in the present study area were experiencing multiple welfare problems. Accordingly, awareness creation through mass education, training and extension service should be promoted in the study area in order to ensure better donkey welfare and productivity.

Keywords

Assessment; Ethiopia; Hosaena; Welfare of working donkey.