Health and Welfare Assessment of Working Donkeys in and around Axum Districts, Tigray Regional State Northern Ethiopia

Medhin Girmay


Across-sectional study was conducted from October 2011to April 2011 with the objective of assessing the health and welfare status of working donkeys in and around Axum. A total of 384 donkeys were subjected to direct animal based assessment. Out of the total 384 donkeys, 56(14.59%) of the donkeys had poor body condition score that showed a statistically significant different (p<0.05) and 34.9% of them demonstrated abnormal demeanor. Additionally, 7.81% of the examined donkeys had varying degrees of lameness which was significantly associated (p <0.05) with the presences of wound on the leg of animals. 29.69% of the examined animals  were with either healed or active wounds dominated by back sore, older and thin donkeys were prone to develop back sore (p<0.05). Moreover, other skin problems (3.125%), abnormal mucous membrane (3.12%), ophthalmic problems (3.90%), parasitic disease (2.1%) were also encountered. Out of the 384 animals, 80(20.8%) donkeys had varying degrees of dehydration. Indirect assessment about the welfare problem of donkeys demonstrated that poor attitude to donkeys (24.16%), limitation of access to health care (21.6%) and lack of vaccination compared to other animals (11%), among others. As a remedy, the community suggested awareness creation for the owners, provision of feed and water, improvement of access to veterinary care equivalent to other animals. It is, therefore, recommended that public awareness toward the value. Management and health care provision for working donkeys should be enhanced in the study area.

Keywords:  Donkey welfare, Axum  

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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