- World Animal Day is observed globally on October 4 to celebrate animal rights and welfare.
- The day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising into a global force to make the world better for all animals.
Donkey owners have been urged to take care of the animals well and avoid mistreating them.
With over 10,000 donkeys active across Lamu county, these beasts of burden are the main form of transport, especially in the various islands of the archipelago.
Speaking at Manda-Maweni village in Lamu West over the weekend, Donkey Sanctuary country director Dr Solomon Onyango encouraged locals to take care of their animals by ensuring all their rights and freedoms are observed.
He spoke when he presided over distribution of free animal feeds and treatment exercises conducted as part of the commemoration of this year’s World Animal Day.
World Animal Day is observed globally on October 4 to celebrate animal rights and welfare.
The day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising into a global force to make the world better for all animals.
It also offers everyone a chance to make a difference and bring awareness to any type of animal that shares the planet.
This year’s theme is 'Great or small, love them all.'
Onyango urged residents to respect and see the importance of all beings, great and small, and allow the opportunity for even the most overlooked animals to be appreciated for what they are.
Animals that benefited from the free treatment and food donation at Manda-Maweni included donkeys, goats, dogs, and cats.
Onyango called on residents in Lamu and the country to love their animals and avoid mistreating them.
He expressed disappointment that despite the many seminars and training that the Donkey Sanctuary has been offering to owners of animals, there still exist cases where the beast of burden is treated with cruelty.
He cited scenarios where donkeys are overloaded and beaten.
There are also cases where donkeys are denied food and overworked.
“We need to embrace love for our animals, be they donkeys, goats, cows, dogs, cats or others. For the donkey owners here, let us ensure we bring the donkeys to our centre for health checkups and treatments. Provide your donkey with a good and clean shed, give them enough food, and avoid overworking them,” Onyango said.
Lamu livestock chief officer Sharif Kamalu said in an effort to ensure the welfare of animals, the county is already undertaking mass livestock vaccination targeting 100,000 animals.
About 45,000 cows, 25,000 goats, 4,200 dogs, and 2,700 donkeys have already been vaccinated against diseases, including the contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and rabies.
“I call on residents to embrace the initiative by ensuring your animal is reached for vaccination. My officers are visiting every corner of Lamu to have animals vaccinated. Don’t hide your animal,” Kamalu said.
Lamu Donkey Sanctuary senior veterinary officer Obadiah Sing’oei, who also led the treatment exercise of sick animals at Manda-Maweni, urged residents to take advantage of the free medical services provided by the Donkey Sanctuary and other partners.
“I advise the residents here to ensure their animals get all the care they need instead of hiding them while sick at home,” Sing’oei said.
The Lamu Donkey Sanctuary was started in 1987 by Elizabeth D. Svendsen and has been in operation for close to 36 years.
It is an affiliate of the Donkey Sanctuary of the United Kingdom.
It takes care of sick, orphaned, old, and abandoned donkeys free of charge and is located on the Lamu Old Town Seafront, just next to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company offices.