We are an international animal welfare organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world's poorest communities. We provide treatment, training and programmes around animal health and wellbeing, operating across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
From as little as £3 a month or give a one off payment.
Brooke study highlights benefits of owning working animals
Ethiopia has the third largest equine population in the world with around eight million horses, donkeys and mules while 83% of Ethiopia’s population live in rural areas and are primarily engaged in agriculture. (Central Statistics Agency, Ethiopian Government, 2010).
In the Livelihoods Report, at least 40% of households surveyed said donkeys helped reduce women’s work while all communities said equine animals were economically important for rural and urban communities for all wealth groups.
Average benefit over US$300
The report shows the average household net return from equine ownership and use was 4419 ETB (US$330 USD) per year.
“The income derived from equine animals allows people to buy tools and grain, clothing and shoes, as well as offering families the chance to pay for schooling for their children,” said Berhanu Admassu, co-author of the Brooke’s report.
“With this in mind, it is important that resources are invested by existing institutions to support the use of equine animals,” he added.
Donkeys are used to transport everything from people to building materials, playing a vital role as ambulance services in some communities.
Despite their contribution, donkeys often suffer from feed shortages, poor health, low status and poor husbandry leading to a reduced work output and loss of income for owners. Overloading and overworking, together with poor roads and shelter were also reported as major problems.
The study concluded that for subsistence agriculture, highly susceptible to climatic risk, diversification into non-farm activities could be the most appropriate solution.
“The Brooke is working to increase national and international recognition of the role of working equines in poverty alleviation, supporting sustainable livelihoods and the national economy,” said Ethiopia country director of the Brooke.
“We hope this study raises awareness about the importance of equine animals and contributes to the debate about their value.”