A day’s forum to solicit the support of government and other key stakeholders in the donkey value chain as part of the fight against donkey hide trade in the country has been held in Tamale. The forum was to draw the government’s attention to formulating policies and programmes geared towards safeguarding the donkey species from extinction in the country. It was organised by Donyaepa and the Ghana National Poultry Network Association (GAPNET) as part of the Fight Against Donkey Extinction (FADE) Ghana project. It brought together various stakeholders from the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, North East and Savannah Regions including representatives of Municipal and District Assemblies, Department of Veterinary Services, representatives of the Donkey Value Chain Network Stakeholders among others. With funding support from the Brooke UK through Brooke West Africa Dakar Senegal, the project seeks to fight against illegal mass slaughter of donkeys for their hide for export to China. Professor Roger Adamu Lure Kanton, National Advocacy Officer, FADE project, speaking during the event, underscored the need for urgent actions to safeguard the donkey species, which served as the major backbone to agriculture and other socio-economic activities. He said although the project, in collaboration with some stakeholders, had successfully closed some slaughterhouses in the North East Region where donkeys were being slaughtered in droves approximately 100 – 50 per day, there was need for legislation to support the fight. He said, ‘We must resist the mass slaughter of donkeys being perpetuated by some faceless Ghanaian collaborators with their Chinese accomplices.’ Mr Mohammed Awal Fuseini, the Vice Chairman of the Donkey Value Chain Operators in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region said the indiscriminate slaughter of donkeys was adversely affecting rural farmers, especially female farmers, who relied on them for their livelihoods. He expressed the need for more research to be conducted on the breeding of the species, to enable farmers to make informed choices on the calibre of breeds suitable for them. Dr John Akwasi Ohemeng, North East Regional Director of the Veterinary Services urged farmers not to abuse donkeys. Participants proposed the enactment of by-laws to regulate the rearing and slaughtering of donkeys, investing in multiple breeds for tourism purposes, commercialisation of donkey farming, research on the nutritional value of donkeys, instituting an award scheme for the best donkey farmer in the annual National Farmers’ Day where hardworking farmers would receive awards among others.
Source: Ghana News Agency