An overview on animal welfare situation in Ethiopia Tekelye Bekele, SAW-EthiopiaP.O Box 3630, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaE-mail: email@example.com
Background information on animal welfare • A. W. can be defined and assessed using any one of the following four concepts. • A) By assessing the physical, mental and natural states of an animal • Physical state means the health of an animal • Mental state means how it feels i.e. whether it has fear or anxiety • Natural state means satisfying its natural needs i.e. association, grooming, perching, rooting, etc.
Continued • B) In association with five freedoms • Freedom from hunger • Freedom from discomfort i.e. having shelter • Freedom from pain and suffering from disease • Freedom to express its normal behaviour • Freedom from fear and distress • C) In association with sentience • Animals are sentient creatures which need care and protection against avoidable sufferings. • Sentience implies that they
Continued • Are aware of their surroundings • Have an emotional dimension • Are aware of what is happening to them • Have the ability to learn from experience • Feel pain, hunger, heat, cold, etc • Are aware of their association with other animals • Are capable to choose between different animals, objects and situations
Continued • D) In association with basic needs • Life sustaining needs such as food and water required for ensuring survival • Health sustaining needs for avoiding disease and injury • Comfort sustaining needs for contributing to the quality of animal life i.e. housing
Continued • Animal welfare and productivity • A. W. is inseparably linked with animal health and productivity. • All are required for improving the physiology, survival and productivity of animals. • Welfare, health and productivity should be tackled without undermining one and overemphasising on the other.
Continued • Historical perspective of animal welfare movement • England is the pioneer of the movement (1500-1800. Jeremy Bentham’s logic in the 18th century. The question is not whether animals can reason or talk, but can they suffer- fundamental concepts for the animal welfare movement. • Anthropomorphic view dominated in the 19th century i.e. ascribing human characteristics to animals and degrading them as non-humans & justifying their sufferings.
Continued • First law in 1781 – on treatment of cattle at Smithfield market in London • 1822-1840 – Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was established 5. 1876 law against vivisection i.e. against cruelty to experimental animals 6. 1911 – The Protection of Animal Act in the UK 7. Different regulations appeared in different countries since that time. 62 out of 192 countries have animal welfare regulations in the world, 2004 WSPA study.
Continued 8. 1970 - Movement split into animal welfare and animal right 9. In 2002 Germany became the first country to protect animals in its constitution 10. EU and EC has variable regulations on welfare, research, transport, agriculture and marketing 11. Shift from national movement to international campaigns and creating pressure on other countries: anti-whaling, sealing, bear farming, poaching, long distance transport, civet farming. 12. Current focus: Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare by United Nations
Continued • Animal welfare movement in Africa • A. W. movement is recent in Africa • First A. W. organization established in Ethiopia in 1954; but ceased to exist without accomplishing its objectives. • At present six to seven organizations operate in Ethiopia. • Almost all are dependent on external help.
Animal welfare problems in Ethiopia • Problems of animal transport by trucks, trains, trekking by foot, carrying poultry up side down, etc include: • Body weight loss, physical injury, stress leading to pasteurellosis, mortality loss and possibility of spreading animal diseases. • Inhumane & inappropriate transportation
Continued 2. Inhumane slaughter in abattoirs • Inappropriate stunning by neck-stub method • Stunning and bleeding at the same place or side by side • Skinning conscious animals • Forceful unloading, using excessive force when prodding
Continued 3. Inhumane management of stray dogs • Rabies is a very big problem in Addis Ababa since there are too many dogs with no proper control • Free mixing of house hold and stray dogs • No planned rabies control program • Up to 30,000 stray dogs are killed yearly by an inhumane strychnine poisoning • Strychnine makes animal suffer before resulting death by asphyxiation
Continued 4. Inadequate handling of working animals • Working long hours continuously • No treatment for saddle sore • Overloading when carrying or pulling loads • Lack of proper outfit and not being shod • Neglect to provide additional feed
Continued 5. Abandoning animals • Aged equines, animals suffering from incurable diseases such as epizootic lymphangitis and unwanted pets are frequently abandoned • Selective abandoning of female puppies • Change in living condition is forcing some owners to abandon their pets
Continued 6. Drought and animal loss • Heavy losses of animals has occurred in Ethiopia due to drought at different times • Animals are neglected when providing emergency supplies • They require water, feed and medicaments. But animal feed are bulky and difficult to deliver. They are not easily acquired from outside like human food stuffs as well.
Continued 7. Mutilation of animal body and related cruelties • Hanging broody hen upside down • Inserting a thorn or a sharp piece of wood across the nostrils of broody hen • Rubbing the mouth of a docile dog with an irritant to force it to change its behaviour • Clubbing and stoning to death rabid animals • Improper killing to contain outbreaks
Continued 8 Animal welfare problems of wild life • Encroaching habitat by bush clearing, cutting, burning, grazing, ploughing, settlement and commercial farming • Killing by poaching, mistaken legal hunting, etc • Problems in zoos • Problems under captivity • Wild life health problems
Continued 9. Animal w. problems of environmental origin • Danger of littering the environment with plastics and butchers refuse • Animals are sometimes exposed to environmental toxicities such as toxic plants, chemicals, pesticides, acaricides and other industrial effluents
Suggested solutions for animal welfare problems • Animal welfare regulation • Animal welfare education • Improving the health, management and welfare problems • Rabies control and dog ownership regulation • Population reduction in pets • Humane slaughter in abattoir • Humane euthanasia when required • Reforestation and environmental protection • A reliable animal rescue and long term
Continued Intervention policy to overcome drought and other calamities 10. Organic animal agriculture
Conclusion • Ethiopia is a developing country which is struggling to reduce poverty and attain food security. The livestock sector of its economy is very high although it has not been utilized properly so far. But, it is still contributing about half of the agricultural sector of the national economy. Wild life is also contributing very much. Hence it is highly necessary to improve the health, welfare and productivity of such very big resource in order to fulfil the desired development goal.