The Foundation for animal welfare in Cameroon (FAWCAM) the premier animal welfare organization in Cameroon has made a significant impact or difference to the lives of well over 560 Donkeys and their Farmers or breeders in Bui Division, of the North West Region of Cameroon.When FAWCAM arrived Bui three years ago, the main problems encountered were animals with wound, lameness, respiratory diseases, and fungal infection called EZl that at times was very fatal. A cross section of the Donkeys were looking very weak with unpardonable wounds. Others could not stand for long periods because they had overgrown hooves and injured legs.The owners, over 500 subsistence farmers, and cattle herds owners, rely on their Donkeys to transport good to the market to and fro, water and firewood for domestic use, yet have little knowledge on how to look after them health wise while domesticating.
The owners depend on the animals for their livelihoods, yet many of them lack animal welfare training and could barely identify or dictate signs of deseases, sickness or fatigue in the animal due to over work. The lack of proper professional veterinary health care skills has made situation worst.
The negligence or lack of total concern about the welfare of the Donkeys by owners is not as a result of wickedness but as a result of the lack of support means and health care management skills.Most often a time for their convenience, the Donkeys are over loaded and over worked to their early graves or paralysed. Through educational workshops, FAWCAM has succeeded to replace harmful traditional practices with correct and compassionate animal health care measures.
FAWCAM a community based organization funded by the Donkey Santuary UK, in collaboration with government staff from the Divisional Delegation of Livestock, fisheries and animal industries, have been offering Dokey owners improved trainings and education on how to better carter for the animals.
After three years of effective and exhaustive work with the Donkey community owners in Bui, almost all owners were woed into the new Donkey Cooperative society created by animal welfare officers (AWOs) of FAWCAM. Thanks to this initiative by FAWCAM officers, attitudes towards Dokey’s welfare has change tremendously in Bui. Majority of Donkey owners now understand what animal welfare means and have now been cultured or doctored on how to identify signs of distress or malaise in the animals. In all, they have also come to understand the dangers of overloading their animals and the aftermarth on its health.
In addition, they have stopped over working Donkeys which are under age, and now know the dangers of overloading a pregnant Donkey. It is now a routine exercise for them to seek the advice or concent of a veterinarian when any of the animals are sick or a community animal health worker (CAHWS) to trime most of their over grown hooves.
Thanks to the timely intervention of FAWCAM IN Bui, hope has been given to it breeders, proper health guaranted to the animals, sustainable agriculture boasted and why not the live sustainance of the Donkey.
Most of the Donkeys in Bui now look beautiful and healthy without wounds or infection of any kind. This is thanks to the knowledge and support of the Donkey sanctuary UK, without which nothing would have been done to protect this endangered specie in Bui. With the permission of the Donkey Santuary in Great Britain after work well done in Bui, FAWCAM intends extending its tentacle to other communities in the North West Region harbouring Donkeys.