Category Archives: donkey

8 MAY – WORLD DONKEY DAY (Peta Jones)

(See page on Facebook, where the history and suggestions for this day are given)

Worldwide (except for the US), 1 May is International Workers’ Day – to remind humanity of the value of those among us who work hard and get paid little.  A separate day seems to be necessary to remind humanity of the animal workers among us, who work just as hard as the human workers they usually help, and who suffer from an even lower value.biodiv

For more than 6000 years DONKEYS have been carrying and pulling loads, turning wheels and generally laboring away to extend the work of humans.  More recently they have been joined by horses, camels, and oxen, but even today, all over the world where resources are scarce and speed is less important, donkeys are still the main providers of such work.

Give them a thought; give them some appreciation.  If any are nearby, go give them a biscuit!

 

Peta A. Jones, MSc, PhD

Donkey Power CC

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Urban..The unique Biological Machine for Work (BMW), highly adapted, the specialized creature is still hiding from the policy makers and highly neglected at all levels. This unique creature is still playing the same role since ages Reminding the Role of Poor Creature~The DonkeyDsc01680

The donkey is not only a working equid but equally play a pivotal role in religious rituals, recreations in some cultures and part & parcel of different heritages. Unfortunately, the donkey kingdom is facing panic problems, ranging from the ill treatment, poor welfare to sick behavior of some societies towards the donkey. donkey products

Celebrating the world donkey day is to aware the masses about the importance of the donkey on one hand and to realize its importance in the agricultural/ urban economies of the world on the other hand. World Donkey Day 8th May

Donkey is now introduced in many EU countries as ecosystem service to help in the flora biodiversity in the forest. World Donkey Day (May 8). In Germany, grazing with livestock is the most commonly used strategy for maintaining the landscape and for conserving rare plants, as well as certain bird species on the Red List.

The donkey is making its place in the changing world and finding option hopes to be used for other purposes as well. Unluckily, the trend of exporting to China for skin trade is the most debatable and questionable. Yes, we must use the animal and plant genetic resources for food and agriculture but it must be based on sustainability, respect, and benefit sharing. I fear that these working animals if used for skin and meat trade, will have a very negative effect on the rural economy in Asia and AfricaThe Blind Export of Precious Donkey will lead to Extinction of this Genetic Resourcedonkey is the most useful and strong

As a conclusion, I would suggest to chalk out a policy to regularize the utilization, welfare, & trade related issues and to share the benefits coming from this trade with the custodian of the donkey genetic resources.Animal genetic resources and “Access and Benefit-Sharing”: not made for each other?

For Further reading, please go to the links below;

Donkeys and development: socio-economic aspects of donkey use in Africa

Benefits of donkeys in rural and urban areas in northwest Nigeria

The Welfare of Donkeys

DONKEY BREEDS OF NORTH-EASTERN BALOCHISTAN, PAKHTOONKHUA, AND SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN

List of donkey breeds

Donkey! Shingharri Breed

The Blind Export of Precious Donkey will lead to Extinction of this Genetic Resource

The Donkey’s Importance

  1. Donkey, the beautiful but very useful creature

beautiful donkey..jpg

2. Donkey, the wheel of the rural life

donkey and rural life..donkey in rural life

3. Donkey is the wheel of urban transport

Urban lifeUrban..

4. Donkey is the companion of nomads and ensures movability

nomadNomads.

5. The unique biodiversity

Biodiversitybiodiv

6. Unfortunately, neglected and avoided

neglected..neglected

7. Treated in a bad way, no respect

8. But a strong and adapted Creature

strong and adapted.jpg.,,donkey is the most useful and strong

9. The obedient and beautiful

10. A bad decision, a dark decision, leading to extinction

donkey products.png

11. Planning to send to the hell

donkey skin.jpg

12. The hell of Chinese food and cosmetics

Wet-Salted-and-Dried-Donkey-Hides-Goat.jpg

Donkey meat

This cruel trade is already going on and flourishing.

Demand for donkey skin in China leads to barbaric killings in SA China’s demand for African donkeys prompts export bans

But there are bold steps from some countries.

Niger is the latest African country to ban donkey exports to China

Epilogue

Unfortunately and sadly, my own country is going to export this useful creature to China. The China’s demand will never end for the donkey. There is the danger of extinction of this useful and precious animal in Pakistan. The poor people use the donkey to earn the livelihood. The rich people and greedy companies will make business and the poor will ruin. I hereby appeal to the policy makers to please re-think on the decision and study the social and economic aspects of the export of the precious donkey.

KP govt proposes plan to regulate donkey rearing and export to China

Thousands of donkey skins have already been exported to China (from Pakistan) under an unfair and silent trade. Who ate the meat of those killed and skinned donkeys? Nobody knows the reality of this dark and black business. The people of the country have the right to know the reality of this business. The link is provided below.

83,475 skins sent to China: FBR urged to ban export of donkey hides

The author had been struggling to visualize the importance of this precious animal. Since last few years, the author in collaboration with a great team of like-minded people is celebrating world donkey day World Donkey Day (May 8). We also have a facebook page of World Donkey Day.

This sad news is circulating amid the onset of the world donkey day. This fact is making me so sad and unhappy. The jokes are making on social media regarding this burning issue. I appeal to the public of the Pakistan to please have a serious look on this matter of urgent nature.

Some more links about the donkey trade with China

China’s silent donkey skin importation from Africa

The China is going to use CPEC for the import of donkey and other agricultural goods from Africa. A social and environmental impact studies are the utmost need to be done in Pakistan. Please do not go for blind decisions.

Reminding the Role of Poor Creature~The Donkey

World Donkey Day (May 8)

Donkey is very useful, important and precious animal genetic resource for food and agriculture. Donkey plays pivotal role in the livelihood earning of the million people of the world. Donkey is widely use for pastoral movement, carting, agricultural operations and recreation purposes. There is wide intra and in breed diversity. Such diversity is based on habitat, purpose, selection etc. Donkey is well adapted to all climatic conditions and ecosystem. It ranges from cold temperate region, cold deserts, dry and hot deserts, plain lands, high Alps and coastal ecosystems of the globe.

In some countries, the products, especially milk and meat of donkey is also use. Milk is use as medicine among the pastoral communities for the treatment of respiratory diseases since long time. The meat products are use in many countries of the world and Salami is the famous dish of donkey meat.

Donkey is now introduced in many EU countries as ecosystem service to help in the flora biodiversity in the forest. One of the best example is in Germany, where black berry increased manifolds as a weed in the forests of pines and retarted the germination of the new pine plants. Donkey was introduced in the forest to control black berry and the results are now very visible in such places. Such services of donkey can be the option hope for its conservation in Western Europe and other countries of the world. In Germany, grazing with livestock is the most commonly used strategy for maintaining the landscape and for conserving rare plants, as well as certain bird species on the Red List. Federal and state governments, as well as local municipalities, pay livestock keepers for these services, usually by the number of animal grazing days. Depending on the type of habitat to be maintained, different species, including donkeys, cattle, and sheep are used most frequently. 

The auto-mobile revolution and other social changes affected the historical importance of donkey. The scientists and communities are looking for different and various options to keep donkey as a hope. There are many success stories in this regard, the landscape management is one of the important one. Also, in Balochistan province of Pakistan, Shingharri donkey is used for mining industry of the chromite. The donkey is well praised for its power, obedience and good learning attitude by the mining industry.

Unfortunatel, donkey never enjoyed due importance among the policy makers of the national governments and international organizations. In some countries talking about donkey issues is a sort of taboo. The western educated vets. even sometimes hesitate to talk about donkey and do not work on donkey issues.

Donkey welfare is the challenge of the modern era. Among the carters of donkey, beating, punishment, poor feeding and hard conditions are very common. I hereby appreciate the efforts of Brooke international for halting cruelty on donkeys. The author being the head of the SAVES, introduced world donkey day to stimulate awareness on the donkey issues and to help in halting cruelty. I appeal to the world people to arrange activities on this day and create awareness in this regard.

Camel is one of the important modes of transportation for the nomad (Kochis) who travels longer with their livestock, especially sheep and goats. The Gaddai or Pahwal breed of camel is unique of its kind and highly resistant to foot rots in cold wet weather, walks longer distances and can exist in cold and wet weather with scarce feed and water resources. The word Gaddai is derived from Pashtu (the Afghan Kochis mother tongue), meaning compact and round. Pahwal is the word use for Kochis in some Pashtun tribes. The milk production potential is lower, ranges from 3-10 liter per day but the higher variation is the option hope of a medium dairy potential.

Pahwal or Gaddai camel

The Afghan nomad with their Gaddai camel’s herd in their winter destination of Thal Duki, Lorelai district of Balochistan

As this breed of camel belongs to Pashtun/Afghan Kochis (nomads), therefore, they travel from central Afghanistan to north-east Balochistan. Some nomads even cross Suleiman mountains and enter in Indus delta (Punjab province of Pakistan). Characterization and significance of Raigi camel, a livestock breed of the Pashtoon pastoral people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Some tribes of the Kochis cross Bolan pass and enter in Kachhi area of Balochistan and some go further and enter in Sindh province, use the Indus river banks and adjoining areas for grazing of their livestock and the nomads work in the crops of local farmers.

cropped-camel-pic.jpg

A view of the Gaddai camel in the Kakar Khurasan region of Pakistan

Unfortunately, some Kochis are leaving camel culture and adapted tractors for luggage transportation because of the hinders in the historic routes and war and conflict in the region. Also, the land grabbers deforested the Indus banks and grabbed the lands for the cropping, especially the cotton crop.Floods, river Indus and the local livestock breeds in Pakistan

 

NOMAD_AFG

Some tribes replaced camels with the tractors, while the others use a donkey for this purpose. The donkey is equally good and strong transport animal but the longer distances really need the incredible camel.

This breed is under threat because of many reasons, all are manmade. Gaddai is one of the strongest breed/lines of a camel in the region. The British empire chose this breed of the camel to export to the Australia and used in terrain rugs of the country for heavy transport. The Australian camels are mainly composed of this breed.

The Indigenous Societies (Institutions) are Resilient to the Climatic catastrophes

Playing with nature since last two centuries is now appearing in the calamities of climate change. The normal cycles of drought due to El Niño is now changing very adversely. (El Niño brings widespread drought (i.e., precipitation deficit) to the tropics. Stronger or more frequent El Niño events in the future and/or their intersection with local changes in the mean climate toward a future with reduced precipitation would exacerbate drought risk in highly vulnerable tropical areas). Many vulnerable societies to climate change are now suffering. Drought in the horn of Africa is the latest news, pushing million of people to the hell of hunger and malnutrition. The famines in Africa are concurrent.

Many vulnerable societies to climate change are now suffering. Drought in the Horn of Africa is the latest news, pushing millions of people to the hell of hunger and malnutrition. The famines in Africa are concurrent on the continent because of climate change, one of the worst affected continents. Unfortunately, the response to such calamities is always faulty and for time being. If the world put as much effort into long-term programs to build resilience in communities, as it is now doing to feed the hungry, this famine would never have happened in horn of Africa.

The climate change scenario is happening, is no more a fashion of discussions. Climatic change is appearing with its consequences, i.e. droughts and floods like in Africa and Asia respectively. Once again floods are hitting human settlements and agriculture field in South Asia, especially Pakistan. The question is food security in sustainable manner. Food aids and emergency help cannot work long. Short term policies and introduction of high yielding varieties of plants and animals cannot work sustainably. These all efforts are short term. The main question is how to strengthen local communities to produce resilience and adapt to climate change. Produce food items from their own resources (well adapted livestock and plant species) in the climate change context.

drought

The first mistake started with the introduction of high yielding exotic varieties, which need very high inputs, ultimately result in environmental dilemma. Fruit farming in North and central highlands of Balochistan is the best example of the environmental degradation and water shortage as consequence of green revolution. While in fruit farming practices, ground water was lifted with electric power and now there is shortage of even drinking water. Also, high inputs in the form of pesticides and fertilizer resulted in many environmental consequences and loss of precious flora and fauna (biodiversity) and change in agroecosystems.

The fourth report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) published in 2007 projects that the global temperature of the planet’s atmosphere will likely have increased 1.1 to 6.4 C by the end of this century. The impact studies on biodiversity have shown significant changes in ecosystem and species distributions, principally due to increasing temperatures and altered precipitation regimes. The climate change will more intensify and threat to biodiversity and food chain will be more deepen. The scientists are agreeing that the loss to biodiversity minimizes the opportunities of food production. Another report, published very recently on world media, revealed that the flora and fauna migrate towards the pole and the polar diversity is going to disappear. The situation is changing very quickly, it is the time to rethink on the policies relates to local resources and communities to cope with the climate change calamities. The priority should go to more affected societies more focus to help.

drought and livestock

 Endogenous development and adaptability

Endogenous development is a development from within the communities. Such development is sustainable and resilient to climate change. Endogenous development is also of importance in developed countries with the high-input agriculture. Small-scale production system (SSPS) is an endogenous way of food production. Small-scale production system (SSPS), both of livestock and agriculture is one of the best tools for local communities to resist climate change. Local communities with their knowledge and resources can better coup with the situation of droughts. Pastoralism is another tool of resilience, the local community practice in Africa and Asia. Adaptation to climate change with the help of highly adapted livestock breeds and agriculture varieties is one of the best options; the vulnerable societies have had in hand. Adaptation to climate change is not a new phenomenon. Throughout human history, societies have adapted to climate variability alternating settlements, agricultural patterns, and other sectors of their economies and lifestyles. Adaptation in human history has been mostly successful.

Conclusion

Climate change with all its calamities is striking vulnerable communities very badly. Unfortunately, African and Asian continents are more prone to such calamities. The concurrent droughts and floods in Africa and Asia are the well-known examples of the situation. Indigenous/local resources and knowledge can be the best tool to cope with the climate change scenario, as local varieties are highly adapted to the local conditions. Local genetic resources produce in a very low input system of production and sometimes even need zero inputs. Applying high input unsustainable production system (factory, high mechanized, monoculture, energy based) cannot be helpful. Also, gene control giants (like Monsanto in Africa), land grabbing, political backing for cross breeding of indigenous livestock breeds and regional conflicts are even worsening the situation.

Indigenous livestock breeds, especially camel, can play a better and crucial role in such circumstances. Camel is one of the most important of them, survived the affected families to shift to other places to resist drought. Local livestock breeds consume many times the lesser quantity of water compared to the exotic livestock breeds and are more resistant to local diseases and pests. The best way to combat climate change, droughts, desertification etc is to promote endogenous development and to make the local communities resilient to the situation. The priority of the international aid should go to the most affected communities due to climate change. The main focus should give on the resilience, not just food aid so that the world can live in harmony and peace.