The Donkey~ Also a Good Riding Animal

The Donkey~ Also a Good Riding Animal

This donkey belong to Shingharri breed from Daman area of Kohe Suleiman. This breed of donkey is unique of its kind. Very well adapted to mountainous ecosystem and carry up to 120 Kg for more than 25 KM. Also a good riding and docile animal.

The Donkey~ Also a Good Riding Animal

This donkey belong to Shingharri breed from Daman area of Kohe Suleiman. This breed of donkey is unique of its kind. Very well adapted to mountainous ecosystem and carry up to 120 Kg for more than 25 KM. Also a good riding and docile animal.

Donkey Marketing in Mangrota Fair of Pakistan

Donkey Marketing in Mangrota Fair of Pakistan

Donkey is very valuable and useful animal throughout the world. Donkey is playing pivotal role in the livelihood earning of the millions of people in Pakistan. In Pakistan, many pastoral communities keep donkey for breeding. They have unique, vigorous and highly adapted donkey breeds like Shingharri and Sperki. In the month of October they bring the donkey for sale to the Mangrota Fair. Shingharri donkey in the photo gets high prices and usually bought by the donkey carters in the cities and towns.

Donkey Marketing in Mangrota Fair of Pakistan

Donkey is very valuable and useful animal throughout the world. Donkey is playing pivotal role in the livelihood earning of the millions of people in Pakistan. In Pakistan, many pastoral communities keep donkey for breeding. They have unique, vigorous and highly adapted donkey breeds like Shingharri and Sperki. In the month of October they bring the donkey for sale to the Mangrota Fair. Shingharri donkey in the photo gets high prices and usually bought by the donkey carters in the cities and towns.

Camel Fairs in Pakistan: A Case Study from Mangrota of Pakistan

Camel plays a very pivotal role in the life of the people of the northeastern Balochistan (Suleiman  mountainous region). The camel herders graze their camel herds all around the year on the woody vegetation of the mountains and in the month of October, they separate the camels ready for sale. The ready for sale animals are then moved to Mangrota camel fair. Mangrota camel fair is very famous among the camel breeders and is the main market for their camels. Mangrota is the town of Tehsil Taunsa, Dera Ghazi Khan (D.G.Khan) district of the Punjab province, Pakistan. The Mangrota camel Mela is held every year in the month of October and is the largest event of the year for the pastorals and traders of the region. The camels brought are predominantly white in color and are known as Kohi camel. These camels are mostly brought from the Suleiman Mountains and the adjoining areas. Mostly mature well-developed males of age more than 5 years are brought, but some cow camels and immature male and female are also brought.

The male matured draught animals acquire by the people of the high mountains for downloading timber wood, vegetables and the old and sick populace down to the roadsides or nearby towns. They carry their daily requirements by loading on camels to the peaks of the mountains where they live. These camels are moved from Mangrota camel Mela both on foot and by loading in trucks to Swat, Dir, Dera Ismail Khan (D.I Khan), Tribal areas & other parts of the NWFP province and some may reach to Afghanistan.Camels in Magrota

Location & History of Mangrota Fair
Mangrota is a town of Tehsil Taunsa, Dera Ghazi Khan (D.G.Khan) district of the Punjab province, Pakistan. Mangrota is situated at the terminal of the piedmont of Suleiman Mountain eastward. According to some elders and, Mela was previously called as Dosera, which was being held regularly at 16-23 October of each year. The Mela was purely a religious event of Hindu people before partition. Those times the camel was being used for bringing the Hindu families to the Mela place mainly on camel back, donkeys, and horses. A lot of camel, donkeys, and horses were being gathered at one place and the Mela gradually got importance as camel and other draught animal’s bazaar. After partition, the religious importance of the Mela diminished and the marketing importance still exists. The Mela is interesting for the camel herders, traders, businessmen, local healers of camel and other related people. Now the Mela has been declared as Camel Mela officially.Mangrota Camel Fair

Number and type of animals
Mela is for the camel but horses and donkeys are also brought. An increasing trend in the number of donkeys and horses has been observed. Camel comes here range from 8,000 to 10,000 every year. In the year 2006, the camel number was comparatively lesser than previous years due to the trouble in Maree and Bugti hills of Suleiman Mountains. The causes of the lesser number of traders participation were the rumors that this year the Mela will not be held because of the trouble in the Maree and Bugti area and the because of the month of Ramazan. In the year 2007, the camel number was higher than 2006 but the traders were lesser, because of the uncertainty in the Northern tribal area, where the majority of the camel goes.

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Business and Marketing System
The contract of the Mela is auctioned by D.G. Khan Municipal Corporation each year and contractor of the Mela charges 5 % of the cost of camel, which is paid by both the supplier and buyer or only one party pay the whole tax depending on the bargain. If someone found selling or buying an animal without paying the tax, will be punished eleven times of the actual tax. Broker charges of Rs. 400/ on each bargain (200 from each party) on the camel and a broker can make up to 25 bargains in a day. The traders paying for a camel.

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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.

Indigenous Livestock Bio-Cultural Biodiversity of Balochistan province of Pakistan

Balochistan is the largest province of the country by area and majority of its populace live in the rural and remote areas. The major source of income among the rural and remote dwellers is livestock rearing. About 90% of the provincial land is comprised of rangeland. These rangelands provide feed and shelter to wide diversified livestock breeds of the province. These rangelands are owned by communities of tribal people, and the only use is livestock production. The precious livestock breeds are well adapted to the diversified ecological zones of the province. The livestock breeds are multipurpose and fulfil a wide range of needs of the livestock keepers. On the basis of livestock production systems, penology, topography and climate the province can be divided into six ecological zones, stated as coastal, deserted rangelands, highlands of the north of the province, Suleiman mountainous region, central Brahvi highlands and the hot region of Kachhi basin. The are 6 camel breed, 7 sheep breeds, 1 cattle breed, 4 goat breed and two donkey breed in the province. These breeds not only provide the source of livelihood but also play a role as companions. Livestock breeds are evolved with the precious indigenous knowledge, therefore a threat to the breeds is a threat to the indigenous knowledge. The local animal genetic resources are the part of the socio-cultural life of the keepers. Many traditions and customary laws articulate around the livestock breeds. Though appearently there is no threat to the animal genetic resources of the province, moreover some camel breeds, i.e. Kharani, Raigi and to some extent Lassi are under threat. Brahvi camel of central highlands of the province is almost loss and very rare herds can be found. Still, there are major problems and issues, which can be a threat to such precious animal genetic resource in the long run of the time period. The major issue is the deforestation and removal of the vegetation cover. The second most important issue is the social changes in the life of the livestock keepers due to interventions in their production systems and around them, i.e. expanding but nonsustainable agriculture. Epidemics diseases also causing a great threat to the livestock breeds of the region and in the recent years PPR and abortion caused havoc losses. The province is the crossroad of the Afghan nomads who cross the province two times in a year and introduce many epidemic diseases in the region. They brought some diseases from the livestock of the central Asia, like PPR and  Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF). The Government support and interest is very rare for the livestock keepers. The livestock keepers as in the other parts of the world are neglected and there is no share of livestock keepers in the research and development policies of the province.

It is the time to study the production potential of the indigenous livestock breeds keeping in mind all the drivers of its production system. Also, it is necessary to study their social systems and work out the changes and the factors responsible for these changes. Pakistan is the signaturee of many important international conventions and treaties, i.e. MDGs, CBD, UNCCD, Right of Indigenous people, Climat Change and Global plan of action on animal genetic resources for food and agriculture, hence it is necessary to respect these conventions and abide by the rights of livestock keepers. The NGOs sector can help in the mobilization of the livestock keepers for breeds associations, demonstration plots of reforestation of local varieties of vegetation, training for animal health and care, documenting of the indigenous knowledge and liaising for their rights.

Donkey! Shingharri Breed

Habitat: The production area of this breed is Khurasan, Suleiman mountainous region, Marri and Bugti hills. The nucleuses of the breed are Kakkal of Kibzai tribe, Meerkhani of Buzdar tribe, salatha and Hazargat of Maghdozai tribe, Zamari, Shighala of Mardanzai tribe, Sharan of Babakarkhail tribe, Kohai of Issot, Goshani area Baloch tribe and Masuri tribe of Bugti area. The nomads are the main traders and users of the breed.

Phenotypic characteristics: There are many colors in Shinghari breed of donkey, but the dominant and selective color is white. The breed is of larger size and well adapted for the ecology of the area. Famous drought animal use equally by the city draught carters, nomads and pastoral people locally. Now a day’s very famous and widely use by chromites mines diggers. Carry a weight of load on back up to 240 kg in plain areas and 160 kg in mountainous areas.  Age at first mating is 2-4 years depending upon the feed availability and type of work.

Vegetation: Consume all types of grasses and bushes. Even consume woody vegetation of trees. Eat bark and wood in the time of feed scarcity.

Population: Population is about 1.2 million and the trend is increasing in breeding herds and decreasing sporadic use by ordinary people and carters in cities. The use is decreased in cities because of China’s made Rickshaw for work. This decreased use is replaced by mining industry.

Special traits:

v  Very hardy and consume very fibrous feeding materials

v  No leech infestation because drink water with closed jaws

v  Highly resistant to diseases

v  Very fit to work in mountainous ecology

v  Can walk long, making it fit for nomadic system

Economic importance: The Shinghari donkey is very famous drought animal use equally by the city donkey carters, nomads and pastoral people locally. The demand is increasing in the mining industry, especially chromites mining. The main marketing place is Mangrota camel fair. The price of a vigorous healthy male may reach to 50,000 Rupees per head.