Economic Contribution of Cart Horses to the Livelihoods of Families in Gondar Town Ethiopia
Equines are providing traction power and transport services, like pulling cart, packing and riding, at low cost in both rural and urban areas of Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Gondar city from November 2014 to April 2015 to assess major health problems and to investigate the economic contribution of cart horses to livelihood of the community. Cart horses were randomly selected from the study area. Observational study was also conducted and semi-structured questionnaire survey was administered to all cart horse owners. The study revealed that behavioral responses, skin coat and dental conditions were significantly associated with body condition and age of cart horses (p<0.05). Wound and musculoskeletal problem had no significant association with body condition and age of working horses. Young horses with good body conditions were more prone to wounds (75%) than the older horses with poor body conditions. The majority of the carthorse owners used their horses for transportation for long hours (> 8 hours) per a day, 5-6 days per week and loaded them 500-700 kg. The income in cash for the cart horse owners was recorded as 80-100 ETB per day. The current study indicated that the cart horse contribution to livelihood of communities is considerable. The working animals deserve better husbandry and veterinary care to sustain their contribution. We suggest a more detailed and systematic study be conducted in the study area to influence policy makers towards better regulation in animal welfare.
Keywords: Cart horses, Economic contribution, Gondar, Ethiopia.
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