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University of Fort Hare (2014)

Socio-economic importance, health and welfare aspects of donkeys (Equus asinus) used for carting in a peri-urban area of South Africa

Marufu Madure

Titre : Socio-economic importance, health and welfare aspects of donkeys (Equus asinus) used for carting in a peri-urban area of South Africa

Auteur : Marufu Madure

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : M.Sc (Animal Science) 2014

Résumé
The broad objective of the study was to determine the socio-economic importance, health and welfare aspects of donkeys used for carting in a peri-urban area. A survey was conducted among 71 donkey owners in Joza, a peri-urban area near Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province (ECP) of South Africa to investigate their perceptions on socio-economic importance, health and welfare aspects of donkeys used for transport. Two hundred and seventy-one donkeys used for carting were assessed through direct observation of health and behaviour parameters to determine their welfare status. Results revealed that donkeys are indeed of immense value to people, being used daily (54.93%) for income generation activities and at least once per month (7.08%) for domestic chores. Most of the respondents (32%) earned R 600.00 per week while 11% earned at least R 200.00 per week from carting using donkeys. Donkeys were used for carting of goods (90.14%) more than for manure (16.9%). Gender and age of owners significantly (P < 0.05) influence perceptions on source of income while education level influenced their perceptions on carting firewood, goods and water. Results on management practices and health problems encountered by working donkeys showed that most of the owners managed their animals poorly. Most donkeys were being beaten (74.65%) during work, made to travel long distances (43.66%), worked long hours (52.11%) without adequate water (59.10%) and feed supplements (83.10%). Wounds (95.97%), coughing (75.65%) and lameness (64.79%) were some of the health problems encountered by donkeys. Significant relationships (P ˂ 0.05) were observed between owners’ perceptions on management practices and health problems encountered by donkeys. Among the observed animals, 61% were thin and mostly apathetic (26.2%) than medium and fat animals. Responses to observer approaches were significantly associated with sex and body condition score (BCS), with stallions in good body condition being more aggressive. Donkeys having a BCS of 3-5 avoided chin contact either by kicking out or moving away. Results further showed that most of the donkeys were suffering from external injuries, with the hindquarters (39.85%), shoulder (32.10%) and spine (21.77%) being the mostly affected areas. The prevalence of wounds on tail-base, belly, flank and neck were seen in less than 13% of the animals. The prevalence of wounds was influenced by age and BCS of the animals. Young donkeys with good BCS were less affected than old donkeys. Lameness, poor coat condition, external parasites, abnormal mucous membrane and dental problems were observed in less than 30% of the animals. It was concluded that donkeys play a pivotal role economically and socially to the livelihoods of people in a peri-urban area (Joza) in terms of income generation and transportation. However, these animals are experiencing multiple health and welfare problems. Therefore, more access to veterinary services, training on donkey use and management, health and welfare promotion programs are of paramount importance in solving the problem of poor health and welfare in donkeys.

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Page publiée le 23 janvier 2016, mise à jour le 13 juillet 2017