Killing of donkeys on the increase in the northern sector – DONYAEPA

By Albert Futukpor, GNA

Tamale, Oct. 17, GNA – Killing of donkeys is
on the rise in the northern parts of the country, a situation, which threatens
the livelihoods of owners and the communities at large, the Development and
Environmental Protection Organisation (DONYAEPA) has said.

DONYAEPA, a non-governmental organization, has
said the killing of donkeys is on the rise because the donkeys’ skin is on high
demand in especially China, where it is used to produce a traditional medicine.

Mr Hudu Amadu, Executive Director of DONYAEPA,
who addressed a press conference in Tamale on Wednesday, said “we are appealing
to the government and other stakeholders to enforce the ban on donkeys’ skin
trade to save the lives of the donkeys’ owners and the communities at large.”

Many donkey owners in the northern parts of
the country are peasant farmers, who depend largely on their donkeys for
livelihood as the donkeys perform vital tasks including helping convey produce
from farms to markets.

The government, therefore, has placed a ban on
donkeys’ skin trade to salvage the unsustainable loss of donkeys in the country
as donkeys cannot be farmed or bred the same way as production of animals
because the species is not well suited to this kind of production.

Mr Amadu said due to high demand for the skin
of donkeys, “There are agents of the skin trade, who go round and convince
owners of donkeys, buy many donkeys, and kill them. Every day, many different
groups slaughter the donkeys.”

He said “the number of donkeys slaughtered is
alarming and needs to be addressed urgently. The negative effect of the killing
of donkeys is forcing young women in the northern parts to migrate to the south
for jobs.”

Estimates by the Donkey Sanctuary, United
Kingdom (UK) showed that there are 14,000 donkeys in the country whiles over
50,000 donkeys are slaughtered annually- some may come from neighbouring
countries.

With the existing donkeys in the country and
the prevailing slaughter rate, more is needed to be done to protect the donkeys
in the country.

Mr Amadu said the process of killing the
donkeys was not good adding that “the manner in which the waste from the killed
donkeys are thrown away is causing unhygienic conditions in the affected
communities.”

He said halting the donkeys’ skin trade in the
country would go a long way to improve the socio-economic conditions of rural
community lives and called on government to act now to enforce the existing ban
on the donkeys’ skin trade.

Mr Alex Mayers, Head of Programmes at The
Donkey Sanctuary, UK called on all to join efforts to support affected
communities and protect them from the illegal trade.

GNA

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