Four months ago, our partner group- SAWS met a working donkey and his owner on the way to one of their clinics. The donkey was extremely thin and had many visible injuries on its back and legs. After the SAWS’ clinic team examined the donkey, they realized that the donkey needed immediate relief Therefore, the clinic team advised the owner to take off the pulling cart and allow the donkey to heal and rest. SAWS gave the donkey owner some money to survive for the 8 days his donkey was not working. They also gave him medication and instructions on how to use the medication plus money to feed and water his donkey
Recently, they met up again with the owner and his donkey. When the SAWS’ clinic team reexamined the donkey, they realized that the donkey still had terrible wounds and was thinner. He was pulling 200 litres of water and straining under the load. They told him to take off the pulling cart immediately and took the donkey to the nearest police station as evidence of animal abuse. The police chief and other police officers were genuinely infuriated and the police chief ordered for the donkey owner to be arrested. Although the donkey owner’s whereabouts is still unknown, the police chief vowed to arrest him and bring him to justice.
SAWS and the Attorney General will take the donkey owner to court so that this case will be a deterrence to other donkey owners.
This case demonstrates the inhumane condition that working donkeys endure on a daily basis in Somaliland and many other areas of the world.
One of SAWS priorities now is urgent training on making saddle packs to protect the spine of donkeys. The current ones are poorly made and badly fitted causing severe injuries to donkey's backs.
SAWS thanks Animal Aid Abroad who are the only charity supporting them to conduct these medical clinics for working donkeys in their area of Somaliland.