The donkey is a very useful, important, and precious animal genetic resource for food and agriculture. Donkey plays a pivotal role in the livelihood earning of millions of people around the world. Donkey is widely used for pastoral movement, carting, agricultural operations, and recreation purposes. There is wide intra and in-breed diversity. Such diversity is based on habitat, purpose, selection, etc. Donkey is well adapted to all climatic conditions and ecosystems. It ranges from the cold temperate region, cold deserts, dry and hot deserts, plain lands, high Alps, and coastal ecosystems of the globe.
In some countries, the products, especially milk and meat of donkeys are also used. Milk is used as medicine among pastoral communities for the treatment of respiratory diseases for a long time. The meat products are used in many countries of the world and Salami is the famous dish of donkey meat.
Donkey is now introduced in many EU countries as an ecosystem service to help in the flora biodiversity in the forest. One of the best examples is in Germany, where blackberry increased manifolds as a weed in the forests of pines and ceased the germination of the new pine plants. The donkey was introduced in the forest to control blackberry and the results are now very visible in such places. Such services donkey can be the options hope for its conservation in Western Europe and other countries of the world. In Germany, grazing with livestock is the most commonly used strategy for maintaining the landscape and for conserving rare plants, as well as certain bird species on the Red List. Federal and state governments, as well as local municipalities, pay livestock keepers for these services, usually by the number of animal grazing days. Depending on the type of habitat to be maintained, different species, including donkeys, cattle, and sheep are used most frequently.
The automobile revolution and other social changes affected the historical importance of the donkey. The scientists and communities are looking for different and various options to keep donkeys as a hope. There are many success stories in this regard, the landscape management is one of the important ones. Also, in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, the Shingharri donkey is used for the mining industry of chromite. The donkey is well praised for its power, obedience, and good learning attitude by the mining industry.
Unfortunately, donkeys never enjoyed due importance among the policymakers of the national governments and international organizations. In some countries talking about donkey issues is a sort of taboo. The western-educated vets. even sometimes hesitate to talk about donkeys and do not work on donkey issues.
Donkey welfare is the challenge of the modern era. Among the carters of donkeys, beating, punishment, poor feeding, and hard conditions are very common. I hereby appreciate the efforts of Brooke international for halting cruelty to donkeys. The author is the head of the SAVES, introduced world donkey day to stimulate awareness of the donkey issues and to help in halting cruelty. I appeal to the world people to arrange activities on this day and create awareness in this regard.