The mission of the Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia, in general, is protecting donkeys and mules and promoting their welfare nationwide
Rationale of the project in Ethiopia
1· Donkeys play a major role to sustain rural livelihoods that make up about 85% of the nation. They have been the backbone of the transport system in the rural community. With the introduction of two-wheel carts, the use of donkey-pulled carts is increasing in the peri-urban and urban areas of small towns
2· Plights of the donkeys in Ethiopia are serious. Donkeys have been beasts of burden, with public poor image. They are metaphors of insult in contrary to their tremendous values. They are suffering from a multitude of diseases and poor management practices. They have also been neglected by academic, research and service providing institutions. The recent development in the research circle shows that donkeys are gaining momentum.
3· Owners/handlers/riders of donkeys, although lived together with them for the millennia, misunderstood the innate nature of donkeys (eg. the high pain threshold, intelligence, behaviour etc) of these animals.
4· Ethiopia hosts the second largest donkey population (6.2 million, CSA, 2010) in the world next to China (7 million) followed by Pakistan (4.5 million) (FaoSTAT, 2009). Roughly there is one donkey for every two household in rural community of Ethiopia.