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Welfare not just a dream in Tanzania

Taking advantage of a rest from their toils, around 80 donkeys sleep under the hot afternoon sun in scrub land outside Kikatiti market, a hub of activity on the edge of the Usa River in Tanzania. From a distance, their relaxed demeanours suggest a degree of contentment, but a closer look reveals a different story. Many have debilitating wounds caused by ropes which are used instead of harnesses to tie heavy sacks to their backs. Many are thin, and appear dull and listless. Some donkeys have had their ears slit for identification purposes.

A donkey at Kikatiti market

Signs of change in Bonaire

A foal is discovered badly injured by a car and needs urgent medical attention but her mother is too scared to come with her. It’s a heart-rending decision for staff at Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire (DSB), a local organisation which cares for sick, injured and orphaned donkeys on the small island of Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean, but in the end their only choice is to save her life. She is brought into the sanctuary and a vet performs emergency surgery, stitching the open wounds and putting her leg in splints. Staff return to the spot again and again to try to find her mother, but to no avail.

Maroesja the foal recovers at Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire

Lessons for life in Tanzania

The Donkey Sanctuary has been working with non-profit organisation the Meru Animal Welfare Organisation (MAWO) in Tanzania since 2010, helping them increase awareness of donkey welfare through harness training, welfare education and local radio programmes to achieve their vision of respect and freedom from suffering for all animals.

This month MAWO held its first Donkey Week in Maasai Land, an area inhabited by the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe. Founder and President of MAWO Johnson Lyimo told us more.

Some of the donkeys helped by MAWO in Tanzania

Picking up the pieces in Nepal

The Donkey Sanctuary has been working with our partner Animal Nepal since 2009, helping the donkeys and mules working in brick kilns in the Kathmandu valley by training owners in handling and care and conducting mobile clinics.

Approximately 50-80 donkeys work in each brick kiln in Nepal so this work has a huge impact on donkey welfare. When the earthquake struck we were supporting around 600 donkeys.

Vet Sunil Tapa treating a wounded donkey

Good news for donkeys in Cameroon

A well-treated donkey is “a good companion” and “a big asset to combat poverty and hardship in poor communities”, according to local media in Cameroon – heartening words to hear in a country where promoting donkey welfare in the community is still in the early stages.

The message was spread by local animal welfare organisation the Foundation for Animal Welfare Cameroon (FAWCAM) at a press conference funded by the Donkey Sanctuary in June, which was held to raise awareness on donkey welfare issues.

Press conference on donkey welfare in Cameroon


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