NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Donkeys from Nyandarua County were on Monday feted in a one of a kind event at the Ol-Kalou Stadium in Nyandarua County during this year’s national Donkey Welfare Day celebrations organised by the Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies (KENDAT) and the Brook Hospital for Animals in Kenya.
The day culminated in a 2km long procession, made up of donkeys, local community members and a band singing songs and carrying banners and placards championing for the welfare of donkeys.
Weston Mureithi a programmes officer at KENDAT said the celebrations were meant to educate donkey owners, users and even veterinary officers on good welfare practices and animal husbandry.
“We have taught farmers how to care for donkeys, ensuring they get medical attention when they need, giving them food and water and we are impressed by the level of participation by the farmers and their eagerness to learn,” he said.
Mureithi added that they were also seeking to sensitise stakeholders in both county and national governments to enact laws that are friendly to the animals as they contribute greatly to the economy of the counties.
His sentiments were reiterated Dr Vincent Oloo a program officer with Brook Hospital for Animals in Kenya who called on counties to allocate resources towards the welfare of animals saying this would inform the owners of the crucial role the animals play in contributing to the counties’ economy.
“We are talking about sheds like what we see with the boda boda people, troughs for drinking water in their places of work and that the counties should also help us to ensure these animals are not abused,” urged Oloo.
He further urged farmers to ensure they treat donkeys as they did other domesticated animals decrying the fact that the ‘beast of burdens’ had been neglected.
During the event dubbed “Sheria Zimtunze Punda” messages about donkey welfare were also shared by local artists, comedians and musicians.
Donkeys oblivious of the significance of the day stood in line as they were giving free check-ups by the veterinary officers who had graced the occasion.
KENDAT further warned human rights activists against using donkeys and other animals in their demonstrations saying action will be taken on them as this was animal mistreatment.
Nyandarua County Director of veterinary Services Dr Rose Anyolo who graced the occasion noted that since the county was an agricultural rich region donkeys came in transportation of farm produce and inputs urging farmers to put into consideration the welfare of donkeys.
She added that already the Nyandarua County Veterinary department was in the process of coming up with a framework of addressing the welfare of donkeys.
The organizers further noted that the quality of life of donkeys had greatly improved since they began the celebrations saying they will not stop until animal rights are prioritised.
The event was marked in various other counties across the country including Naivasha, Kisumu, Mwingi, and Kajiado among others.