The Gambia College and University of the Gambia Animal Welfare Advocates Association (AWAA) in partnership with Veterinarian Utan Granser, on Friday November 23rd 2018, launched a project on Animal Welfare Advocacy at Brikama Educational Regional Office.
According to the coordinator of the Association Abdou Manneh, the objective of the project is to increase the capacity of advocates through education and awareness creation. Coordinator Manneh asserted that the project will train 200 persons on advocacy skills and message development that will be centred on animal welfare.
Dr Kebba Daffeh, the adviser of the association indicated that the AWAA, aims to improve animal welfare in the Gambia.
He said the association was formed after a joint workshop organized by a German charity organization called WTG Vets United in February 2016, at Sambel kunda village in the Central River Region, attended by students of the University of the Gambia and the College. Dr Daffeh pointed out that Vets United is a veterinary education centred programme of Welttierschutzgesellschaft (WTG). He said WTG’s approach to animal welfare is premised on education, to help create a world in which animals are treated with respect, and understanding the mission of Vets United, which is to improve veterinary standards in developing countries, through local veterinary training.
The Charity he said, has a strategic partnership with the Gambia Horses and Donkeys Trust (GHDT), the leading provider of equine welfare support services and advocacy in The Gambia. “Registered as a charitable organisation in 2002 in both United Kingdom and The Gambia, the aim of GHDT is to reduce rural poverty in the Gambia, through improving the health, welfare and productivity of working animals,” he stated.
Dr Daffeh noted that the project is meant to build the capacity of the advocates by empowering them with the requisite skills and knowledge in their advocacy work, to prevent and solve problems related to animal welfare, thereby creating a long-term sustainable solution to their problems.
He said animal welfare focuses on five fundamental rights of Animals and they are:-
- Freedom from hunger and thirst;
- Freedom from discomfort;
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease;
- Freedom to express normal behaviour and
- Freedom from fear and distress.
The Registrar of the Gambia College Demba Yabo on his part promised the association that he will take the lead in advocating for Animal Welfare to be incorporated in the curricula of the School of Education and Agriculture.
Bakary Jammeh of the Department of Livestock Services, acknowledged the important work the Association was doing, and promised to advocate for the creation of an Animal Welfare Unit at the Department of Livestock Services.