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Cross-sectional questionnaire of donkey owners and farriers regarding farriery practices in the Faisalabad region of Pakistan

  • Khan, Raja Zabeeh Ullah
  • Rosanowski, Sarah Margaret
  • Saleem, Waqar
  • Parkes, Rebecca Sarah Victoria
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
DOI: 10.3390/ani12060709
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Simple Summary Ensuring the welfare of donkeys in low-middle income countries (LMICs) requires a collective approach involving donkey owners, farriers, veterinarians and researchers. Faisalabad is an industrial city in the Punjab province of Pakistan, where donkeys are used for goods transportation. Working donkeys require regular farriery to avoid hoof and limb problems, including lameness. The perception of owners regarding the farriery needs of their donkeys, and the farrier's understanding of quality farriery, play an important part in ensuring donkey welfare. In this study, owners were asked questions about lameness issues in their donkeys, farriery intervals, factors that they considered important in choosing a farrier, as well as problems that they experienced with farriery. Farriers were asked about their business structure, challenges, and the farriery requirements of donkeys in the region. Farriers reported a lack of training, meager wages, and that farriery is an unregulated industry in Pakistan. Owners provided mixed reports regarding the quality of farriery their animals received. Owners ranked the relationship with their farrier as the most important consideration when selecting a farrier, with cost not being a major factor. This study provides important information for interventional projects taking place in the region for the improvement of donkey welfare, and mitigation of lameness and foot-related problems. Quality farriery is essential to ensure donkey welfare, and many intervention programs in low-middle income countries (LMICs) train farriers, and educate owners, regarding the farriery needs of donkeys. It is essential for interventional programs to understand the perspectives of all stakeholders in donkey-owning communities. A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted in the Faisalabad region of Pakistan. Ten farriers and 55 donkey owners participated in the study. Farriers reported receiving no formal training for farriery, insufficient wages (PKR 65 or USD 0.36 per hoof) and the requirement to use traditional tools. Farriers reported an average shoeing time of 5 min per hoof and shoeing between three and 30 donkeys a day. Donkeys were mostly shod while they were harnessed to a cart. Six donkey-owning farriers reported shoeing their donkeys every 20 to 25 days. Owners reported varying shoeing intervals of 20 days to 90 days. Shoeing interval was also affected by seasonal and weather changes. Owners considered their relationship with farriers as the most important factor in choosing a farrier rather than cost. A majority (87%) of the owners reported lameness in their donkeys. The study provides important insights into the many challenges and opportunities in developing quality donkey farriery in the region.

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