(See page on Facebook, where the history and suggestions for this day are given)

Worldwide (except for the US), 1 May is International Workers’ Day – to remind humanity of the value of those among us who work hard and get paid little.  A separate day seems to be necessary to remind humanity of the animal workers among us, who work just as hard as the human workers they usually help, and who suffer from an even lower value.biodiv

For more than 6000 years DONKEYS have been carrying and pulling loads, turning wheels and generally laboring away to extend the work of humans.  More recently they have been joined by horses, camels, and oxen, but even today, all over the world where resources are scarce and speed is less important, donkeys are still the main providers of such work.

Give them a thought; give them some appreciation.  If any are nearby, go give them a biscuit!


Peta A. Jones, MSc, PhD

Donkey Power CC

Facilitation and Consultancy Services

PO Box 1695



South Africa

Another World Donkey Day 8th May~ Who will listen and Who Should Listen?

Urban..The unique Biological Machine for Work (BMW), highly adapted, the specialized creature is still hiding from the policy makers and highly neglected at all levels. This unique creature is still playing the same role since ages Reminding the Role of Poor Creature~The DonkeyDsc01680

The donkey is not only a working equid but equally play a pivotal role in religious rituals, recreations in some cultures and part & parcel of different heritages. Unfortunately, the donkey kingdom is facing panic problems, ranging from the ill treatment, poor welfare to sick behavior of some societies towards the donkey. donkey products

Celebrating the world donkey day is to aware the masses about the importance of the donkey on one hand and to realize its importance in the agricultural/ urban economies of the world on the other hand. World Donkey Day 8th May

Donkey is now introduced in many EU countries as ecosystem service to help in the flora biodiversity in the forest. World Donkey Day (May 8). 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.

The donkey is making its place in the changing world and finding option hopes to be used for other purposes as well. Unluckily, the trend of exporting to China for skin trade is the most debatable and questionable. Yes, we must use the animal and plant genetic resources for food and agriculture but it must be based on sustainability, respect, and benefit sharing. I fear that these working animals if used for skin and meat trade, will have a very negative effect on the rural economy in Asia and AfricaThe Blind Export of Precious Donkey will lead to Extinction of this Genetic Resourcedonkey is the most useful and strong

As a conclusion, I would suggest to chalk out a policy to regularize the utilization, welfare, & trade related issues and to share the benefits coming from this trade with the custodian of the donkey genetic resources.Animal genetic resources and “Access and Benefit-Sharing”: not made for each other?

For Further reading, please go to the links below;

Donkeys and development: socio-economic aspects of donkey use in Africa

Benefits of donkeys in rural and urban areas in northwest Nigeria

The Welfare of Donkeys


List of donkey breeds

Donkey! Shingharri Breed

Reminding the Role of Poor Creature~The Donkey

At the eve of the World Donkey Day 8th May, 2016

The donkey is very special creature and the most efficient biological work machine. This great creature is still playing pivotal role in the rural economy and urban goods transport in many parts of the world. There is a wide genetic diversity, hence having different levels of potential of work, hardiness and adaptability to the calamities of the weathers.

Unfortunately, donkey is still abuse, neglected and misbehave in many parts of the world. Not only neglected as animal welfare, poorly fed and even abuse for nothing but just fun. Many bad words are linked with this poor animal very sadly.

poor donkey
How the people behave this creature?

To raise awareness regarding this poor but neglected animal, the World Donkey Day was launched by the author (proposed by Peta Jones, a South African Scientist). 8th May was selected as world donkey day (as it is a labor animal). diversity in Donkey breedsrespect to donkey

Many friends and groups joined this struggle and many people have now realized the importance of this unique creature. The donkey plays role in pastoralism, transportation, mining, agricultural operations, racing, polo, and healing of the patients. There are many people who love donkey and care them very well. There is a facebook page on social media regarding the world donkey day.

https://www.facebook.com/WorldDonkeyDay/happy donkey

This piece of manuscript is hereby presented to share my part in the well being of this beautiful animal. For further readings please go to the links below.

  1. https://arkbiodiv.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/world-donkey-day/
  2. https://arkbiodiv.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/world-donkey-day-may-8/
  3. https://arkbiodiv.wordpress.com/tag/shingharri/
  4. http://www.academia.edu/10189788/Domesticated_Donkeys_-_Part_II_-_Types_and_Breeds
  5. http://www.homesanctuary.com/rachelanne/2015/05/world-donkey-day.html
  6. https://arkbiodiv.wordpress.com/author/raziqkakar/page/9/




World donkey day was celebrated worldwide.


Henderson and the donkey
Henderson and the donkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


World donkey day was celebrated worldwide.


The donkey is a very important draught animal of in north-eastern Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhua, and southern Afghanistan. In this region, it is mostly used for pastoralism, pneumatic wheel carting, and light agricultural operations. The region is the habitat of many livestock breeds and the donkey is one of the most important. Unfortunately, the role of donkey is never praised by scientists and policy makers of the region. Studies of the breeds are even scarcer. This study was, therefore, conducted to discover the genetics of the donkeys of the region. The research was based on a survey report, prepared using a pre-tested questionnaire according to the
perspectives of the donkey keepers and breeders. It was found that there are two donkey breeds (Shinghari and Sperki) in the region, which each play important roles in providing draught power in pastoral migration and other draught operations. This study suggests further work on the issues related to the donkey, especially its socioeconomic role in the life of donkey herders of the region.
The study area (mostly composed of Pashtoon land) is the home tract of many important livestock breeds. The region has a very rich history. Avesta, the holy book of Zoroaster written in 2570–2523 BP, named the region Orawah. The expanse was also called Arya Warsha (‘the place for grazing’). The Pashto word is ‘Warsh’ (grazing land). The region is still very famous for nomadic life and extensive livestock production [1]. The area lies in a semiarid region, receiving 200–500mm precipitation bimodal. The region receives its precipitation both from the summer monsoon and Mediterranean breeze. There is an extensive livestock production system in the region. The livestock keepers practise nomadic, seminomadic, and sedentary production systems. The donkey, especially the Shinghari, is kept by the Afghan nomads and the Shinghari donkey breeders of north-eastern Balochistan. The Afghan nomads usually use the Shinghari donkey for pastoral migration. The migratory period starts with the onset of winter. A migration may originate from
central and southern Afghanistan and may end up in any part of Balochistan or the Indus plains. With the onset of the spring season, the nomads return to the mountainous areas. The movement is along traditionally fixed routes. The migration involves both pastoral and trading activities: the migrants are accompanied by their flocks and trade goods which they transport on camels. The sperki breed of donkey is mainly used for light work, carting, and water transportation. This breed is mainly used by the semi-nomadic livestock keepers and the sedentary peoples. 

Materials and methods
This study was conducted in 2009. Data were collected on the habitat, phenotypic characteristics of the donkey, vegetation of the region, donkey population size and trend, and special traits of the donkey, e.g. hardiness, disease resistance, walking ability, etc. The donkey’s economic importance and socio-cultural role was discussed with the donkey herders on a pre-tested questionnaire. This study was entirely based on the information given by the donkey keepers, and the breeds were documented according to the perspectives of the relevant breeders.
Results and discussion
There are two breeds of donkey in the region. The Sperki breed is mostly found in the Suleiman mountain region, while the Shinghari breed is found in southern Afghanistan and the adjoining area of Kakar Khurasan. Larger breeding herds of Shinghari breed are found in the Suleiman mountain region (north-eastern Balochistan). Both breeds are very important for work: they are very hardy and drought-resistant animals. Each breed is discussed in turn, giving its qualitative characteristics.
Shinghari breed
HabitatThe production area of this breed is Khurasan, the Suleiman mountain region, and the Marri and Bugti hills. The nucleuses of the breed are Kakkal of Kibzai tribe, Meerkhani of Buzdar tribe, Salatha and Hazargat of Maghdozai tribe, Zamari, Shighala of Mardanzai tribe, Sharan of Babakarkhail tribe, Kohai of Issot, Goshani area Baloch tribe and Masuri tribe of Bugti area. The nomads are the main traders and users of the breed.
Phenotypic characteristics: There are many colours in the Shinghari breed of donkey, but the dominant and selective colour is white. The breed is large and well adapted to the ecology of the area. It can carry a load on its back up to 240kg on the plain and 160kg in mountainous areas. Age at first mating is 2–4 years depending upon feed availability and type of work. Vegetation: It consumes all types of grasses and bushes, and will even eat bark and wood from trees in times of feed scarcity.
Population: There are about 1.2 million Shinghari donkeys and the trend is increasing in breeding herds. The sporadic use by ordinary people and carters in cities is decreasing because of Chinese-made rickshaws. However, a decrease in the cities is made up for by the mining industry.

Special traits:
• Very hardy and consumes very fibrous feeding materials
• No leech infestation because it drinks water with closed jaws
• Highly resistant to diseases
• Very fit to work in mountainous terrain
• Can walk long distances, making it fit for the nomadic system
Economic importance: It is used equally by city carters, nomads, and pastoral people. It is also widely used in the chromite mines, where demand for it is increasing. The main marketing place is Mangrota camel fair. The price of a vigorous healthy male may reach 50,000 Rupees per head.
Sperki breed
Habitat:The production area of this breed is as for the Shinghari, i.e. Khurasan, the Suleiman mountain region, and the Marri and Bugti hills. It is mostly found in the Kohlu district. Figure 3 gives an example of the Sperki breed. Phenotypic characteristics: Small, very wild, and not easy to handle, it is a threat to the Shinghari breed because of its high libido and ability to mate with Shinghari females. It can carry a load on its back up to 160kg on the plain and 60–80kg in mountainous areas; it is used mainly for water transportation and light agricultural operations. Age at first mating is 2 years depending upon feed availability and type of work.
Vegetation: It consumes all types of grasses and bushes, and will even eat bark and wood from trees in times of feed scarcity.
Population: There are about 0.5 million Sperki donkeys; the trend is stable or even decline.
Special traits:
• Very hardy and consumes very fibrous feeding materials
• No need of any care and management
• Highly resistant to diseases
• Ability to run fast
Economic importance: This breed is mainly used for water transportation and light agricultural operations. The children of nomads are also carried by this donkey. In the cities of Punjab and Sind it is used to pull light carts; in these provinces it is used as a game animal for cart racing, hence fetching a high price.
The region has significant animal genetic resources and the donkey is one of the most important and useful of them. The donkey works hard for a long time but its role is not appreciated. Physical cruelty, wounds, and low-grade feeding material are the common problems of the donkey in the region. There is no veterinary facility for this neglected animal. It is time to help the donkey of the region and mobilize donkey owners to give proper attention and care to this neglected animal.

World Donkey Day (May 8)

Donkey is very useful, important and precious animal genetic resource for food and agriculture. Donkey plays pivotal role in the livelihood earning of the million people of the world. Donkey is widely use 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 ecosystem. It ranges from 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 donkey is also use. Milk is use as medicine among the pastoral communities for the treatment of respiratory diseases since long time. The meat products are use in many countries of the world and Salami is the famous dish of donkey meat.

Donkey is now introduced in many EU countries as ecosystem service to help in the flora biodiversity in the forest. One of the best example is in Germany, where black berry increased manifolds as a weed in the forests of pines and retarted the germination of the new pine plants. Donkey was introduced in the forest to control black berry and the results are now very visible in such places. Such services of donkey can be the option 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 auto-mobile revolution and other social changes affected the historical importance of donkey. The scientists and communities are looking for different and various options to keep donkey as a hope. There are many success stories in this regard, the landscape management is one of the important one. Also, in Balochistan province of Pakistan, Shingharri donkey is used for mining industry of the chromite. The donkey is well praised for its power, obedience and good learning attitude by the mining industry.

Unfortunatel, donkey never enjoyed due importance among the policy makers 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 donkey and do not work on donkey issues.

Donkey welfare is the challenge of the modern era. Among the carters of donkey, beating, punishment, poor feeding and hard conditions are very common. I hereby appreciate the efforts of Brooke international for halting cruelty on donkeys. The author being the head of the SAVES, introduced world donkey day to stimulate awareness on 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.