This French blog provides information about working oxen for practitioners and enthusiasts: videos, contacts, events, websites etc. Although it is focused on the current situation in France it also gives access to old archives and refers to the use of working oxen in other countries.
An updated illustrated practical guide to animal draught. The book is enriched with results from recent experiments and comes with a CD-ROM containing additional information.
Draught animals are still widely used in many developing countries, where smallholders often still work by hand. Draught animals can reduce the laboriousness of human work and lessen poverty in developing countries by facilitating soil cultivation and transport. Animal traction boosts the productivity of agricultural labour and contributes to the sustainability of mixed systems combining crop and animal production on small family farms. This updated and illustrated practical summary of knowledge on animal traction is enriched with results from recent experiments into animal well-being, producer and craftsman associations and environmental impact. Practical solutions are proposed in all these fields.
The book, which is deliberately succinct, comes with a CD-ROM containing additional information: technical advice notes, reference texts, case studies and photographs. It is primarily intended for producers, technicians and development staff, but is also a reference tool for tutors and students in higher education.
Philippe Lhoste is an agronomist and zootechnician specializing in animal traction, and is currently Director of the Agricultures tropicales en poche collection.
Michel Havard is an agronomist at CIRAD, working on agricultural mechanization, producer dynamics and agricultural advice services in sub-Saharan Africa.
Éric Vall is an agronomist and zootechnician at CIRAD, working on the sustainability of mixed crop-animal production systems in sub-Saharan Africa, who previously studied draught animals and the dynamics of innovation in terms of animal traction.
La traction animale
Philippe Lhoste, Michel Havard, Éric Vall
Éditions Quæ, CTA, Presses agronomiques de Gembloux
Agricultures tropicales en poche collection
BENEFITS OF WORKING EQUINE ANIMALS ON WOMEN’S LIVES IGNORED, FINDS NEW REPORT
It has found that working donkeys, horses and mules provide crucial support for women in developing countries but are being overlooked in international gender and livestock policy. The report Invisible Helpers was published by global animal welfare organisation the Brooke, which is calling for greater recognition of the role of working equine animals.
An estimated two thirds of poor livestock keepers – approximately 400 million people – are women, and working equine animals have rarely been considered in livestock research. The study aims to fill this gap by reporting the perspectives of women from equine owning communities themselves on the impact these animals have on their lives. The report is based on discussions with focus groups and individuals in Ethiopia, Kenya, India and Pakistan.
It found that working equine animals help to lessen the burden on women’s lives, providing a ‘support system’. Over three quarters of the groups (77%), including all of those in Kenya and India, ranked donkeys, horses and mules as the most important of all their livestock. They generate income, help with household chores, give women an increased social status and, importantly, help women collect food and water for other livestock.