Dr. Kebba Daffeh, National Coordinator Welttierschutzstiftung (WTS) Vets United, has vehemently condemned the inhumane treatment of animals, especially working animals in the country, arguing that animals continue to contribute significantly towards the upkeep of the lives and livelihoods of many families in the country.
He made these remarks on the sidelines of a five-day training of trainers workshop on animal welfare education currently ongoing at Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust at Makasutu, where he revealed that WTS Vets United, together with partners, has trained beyond one thousand three hundred (1, 300) in animal welfare whose successes have been felt in every corner of the country.
“My message to Gambians is that animals play a big role in our livelihoods, and we must be concerned about their welfare. It’s inhumane to maltreat animals, especially the working animals that continue to play big roles in the upkeep of many families in the country,” Dr. Daffeh observed.
The former Director of Veterinary Services of The Gambia has also described the state of donkeys in the country as miserable, arguing that even though donkeys continue to play a significant role in maintaining many families, they continue to be abused and neglected.
“If you look at the state of donkeys in the Gambia, it is in a miserable situation, even though donkeys play so many roles in the lives and livelihoods of poor farmers. But if you look at their situation, they continue to be neglected and abused, and it’s about time for us to reflect on the state of donkeys in the country,” he explained.
According to him, the issue of animal welfare should be a primary concern to every Gambian, looking at the significant contribution animals continue to play in the socio-economic livelihoods of Gambians. He argued that it is essential that Gambians, especially farmers, take good care of their animals while condemning any form of abuse meted out to animals.
Dilating on the significance of the five-day training of trainers on animal welfare, Dr. Daffeh disclosed that nine lecturers had been identity to partake in the exercise, adding that the movement is hoped to build the capacity of lecturers on animal welfare for inclusiveness and sustainability of the animal welfare course at the Gambia College and the University of The Gambia.
He revealed that this is the third time his organization has organized such training to augment the capacity of lecturers on animal welfare, highlighting that WTS Vets United has been giving technical support to The Gambia College and the University of The Gambia on animal health and welfare education.
He said the organization has equally introduced animal welfare in the curriculum of both the Gambia College and the University of The Gambia, revealing that over one thousand three hundred (1,300) students from these institutions have completed the Animal Welfare courses provided through the technical support of Vets United Project who are currently stationed across the country offering their services.
Dr. Daffeh also singles out Veterinary without Borders of Sweden, Bromma Djurklinikhe, clinic of Dr. Buba Badjie for their tremendous contributions towards the welfare of animals in the country, noting that these organizations have also offered training to more than three hundred Gambians in this crucial area of providing training and funding for students and his organization.
He observed that the training of these vast numbers of Gambians had contributed positively to helping farmers be mindful of their animals’ welfare while calling on all Gambians to take the welfare of animals seriously and avoid all forms of abuse meted on them.