NGO fights donkey extinction in East Mamprusi Municipal

Donyaepa, a non-governmental organisation has engaged stakeholders in the East Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region as part of efforts to fight donkey extinction in the country.

The engagement was part of the implementation of an advocacy project dubbed, Fight Against Donkey Extinction (FADE Project) aimed at preserving the donkey population from extinction in West Africa.

The main objectives of this project are to stop the mass slaughtering and trafficking of donkeys and also come out with a legal framework against the trafficking and clandestine slaughter of donkeys in Ghana.

The project is being handled in collaboration with the Ghana Poultry Network (GAPNET) and has been piloted in West Mamprusi Municipal, in the North East Region and Bolgatanga Municipal, Bongo District, Kassena-Nankana West in the Upper East Region in 2022.

Speaking at the engagement in Nalerigu, Professor Roger Kanton, Advocacy Officer of the FADE Project, explained that the main aim of the project was to leverage support of stakeholders to fight donkey extinction and preserve their population especially in Northern Ghana.

According to the Advocacy Officer, statistics from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture about five years ago indicated that the donkey population in Ghana was about 15,000, however, the number had reduced significantly especially in Northern Ghana.

He attributed the threat to the   operations of a Chinese hide traders in collaboration with Ghanaians who had established a donkey slaughterhouse called the Blue Coast slaughter at Walewale in the West Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region.

He said the Blue Coast Slaughter was estimated to be slaughtering as high as 100 to 150 donkeys daily for the purpose of exporting the hide, adding “if this rate of slaughtering of donkeys is to continue, then within a month, we will finish all the donkeys in Northern Ghana.

“Due to the threat of extinction of donkeys in Africa as a result of the demand by these Chinese traders, in 2016 Directors of Veterinary Services Departments of ECOWAS met in Abuja, Nigeria, to find a solution to the mass slaughter of donkeys in West Africa and they came out with an MOU banning the mass slaughter and export of donkey which was adopted all member states”.

He explained that various stakeholders including the North East Regional Minister, the chiefs, traditional authorities and security agencies were engaged to ensure that the illegal slaughter house, the Blue Coast Slaughter in Walewale, was closed down while stakeholders committed to prevent the slaughtering of donkeys.

Dr John Ohemeng, the North East Regional Veterinary Officer, explained that despite the efforts to close down the Blue Coast Slaughter house, some indigenes continued to kill the donkeys and transport the products to southern Ghana.

He said donkey slaughtering continued to be a major challenge and added that his outfit had intensified surveillance to deal with the issue and would halt the issuance of permits for the movement of donkeys, adding “if this fails, we will enforce the law and arrest them”.

Mr Hudu Amadu, the Executive Director of Donyaepa, noted that donkeys had numerous benefits to the indigenes and appealed to the stakeholders to support efforts to end donkey trafficking and slaughtering to prevent extinctions.

Source: GNA

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