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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

Ghana SPCA: Donkeys Better Alive

You may be aware that donkeys are under threat due to the hide and meat trade. As Ghana SPCA's Humane Ed Specialist, Aluizah Amasaba explains, "The skin of the donkey has been the target of the Chinese ejiao industry. The donkey's skin (also called hide) is used to produce a Chinese traditional medicine which is believed to have anti-aging properties and other health benefits. In 2016 the demand was so high, the value placed on the skin was more than what a live donkey was valued at. Fueled by the skin trade, there were wanton killings causing donkey populations to decline to the lowest levels ever recorded, making communities worried of the possible decimation of their donkeys."

Due to this threat, back in 2016, Ghana SPCA began working in the upper northeast corner of Ghana-10, 11 hours from Accra by bus-an epicenter of the donkey skin trade. Aluizah's recent investigations indicate that, "Although Ghana banned the skin trade, the trade is on-going and is active across borders, with Ghana's Upper East Region being a focal point."

Because of this situation, Ghana SPCA's Humane Ed Program, in the classroom and in the field, focuses on donkey care, welfare, and appreciation. In support of this, GSPCA's theme for their HE Program in northern Ghana is "Donkeys Better Alive."

Recently, Aluizah visited schools in Upper East Region and participated in some of the Humane Ed sessions.

At Awaa Junior High School in Upper East Region, when Aluizah found that Abileo, the previous HE teacher, had been transferred to another school, Aluizah stepped in and taught a session to show Yaw Boamah, the new HE teacher, how he gets the students involved. Prior to the HE lesson, Aluizah "took Mr. Boamah through the HE manual and he proved to be smart and have a good appreciation of the Course." As always, every student in a GSPCA Humane Ed class receives a Humane Education Manual to keep (funded by AKI donors).

Aluizah teaching an HE session at Awaa JHS
Awaa JHS HE class-an HE Manual for every student

Aluizah also visited Kukuruza Junior High School in Upper East Region, where the HE teacher and pupils were discussing the many uses of live donkeys. A visit with a donkey, brought to the school by a community member by arrangement with the HE teacher, helped illustrate GSPCA's theme, "Donkeys Better Alive."

A donkey visits Kukuruza JHS students

At Nyariga JHS in Bongo District, HE students also enjoyed a visit with a donkey as they discussed the importance of donkeys to their community and families. Everyone agreed that a health clinic for donkeys was needed and that Ghana SPCA, along with the HE pupils, should consider sponsoring a rural clinic.

A donkey visits Nyariga JHS

During Aluizah's visit, Humane Ed students from Nyariga and Kukuruza Junior High Schools made these videos to promote, "Donkeys Better Alive." They're really fun to watch and interesting to hear that these students and their families really rely on and care for their donkeys.

We are grateful that GSPCA has been able to work with some very dedicated and smart teachers, who are so willing to promote the GSPCA HE Program and specifically, "Donkeys Better Alive." For example, Mr. Aguri, the head teacher and an HE teacher at Doba Junior High School in Navrongo East Municipality of the Upper East Region, is a wonderful role model for his students. Mr. Aguri wrote this poem about donkeys:

In 2020, as Ghana SPCA continues to promote the appreciation and care of donkeys, their value to their communities, and the need for humane care of these under-appreciated and often over-worked animals, we rely on your support to spread the word, "Donkeys Better Alive."


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