The Role and Welfare of Cart Donkeys Used in Waste Management in Karachi, Pakistan

In low and middle-income countries, equids (donkeys, horses, and mules) play a critical role in supporting people’s livelihoods. In Karachi, donkey carts are used to transport building materials, commercial produce and garbage. To date the role and welfare of donkeys used in waste management has received little attention, this study therefore aimed to articulate the role and welfare of donkeys used in waste management. We found that the collection of waste was the primary source of income for 89% of donkey owners interviewed; of those working in waste management, 62% were under 18 years of age. A number of animal welfare concerns were documented; 52.9% of donkeys had a body condition score of two. Muzzle mutilation was extremely high (78.4%) and 66.7% of donkeys had superficial knee lesions. We recommend that appropriate public resources are allocated to improve the welfare of both donkeys and people working in waste management in Pakistan.

Brooke Pakistan held a policy event last week, the event was attended by government ministries, INGOs, and civil society to highlight this important but overlooked issue.

Shah, S.Z.A.; Nawaz, Z.; Nawaz, S.; Carder, G.; Ali, M.; Soomro, N.; Compston, P.C. The Role and Welfare of Cart Donkeys Used in Waste Management in Karachi, Pakistan. Animals 2019, 9, 159.

Full article / DOI can be found here.