Children’s recognition of working donkeys’ needs in Tuliman, Mexico: Preliminary observations

Tamara Alejandra Tadich-Gallo, Aline de-Aluja, Roberto Cagigas, Francisco Galindo


Veterinaria México OA
ISSN: 2448-6760

Cite this as:

  • Tadich Gallo TA, de Aluja A, Cagigas R, Galindo F. Children’s recognition of working donkeys’ needs in Tuliman, Mexico: Preliminary observations. Veterinaria México OA. 2016;3(4). doi: 10.21753/vmoa.3.4.404
Working equids remain an important source of income for thousands of families in developing countries. Children commonly participate actively in the husbandry practices associated with their working equids around the world, and can therefore have an important impact on their welfare. The aim of this study was to investigate the recognition of nine basic needs of donkeys by children between eight and eleven years of age. Animal welfare talks were provided in classrooms of schools in the community of Tuliman, Mexico, to children between eight and eleven years of age. Children were then asked to represent their donkey’s needs through drawings. The number and percentage of children able to recognize different needs was then quantified. Through their drawings, children easily recognized the need to provide food and water, but they rarely recognized the need for veterinary services. Inclusion of educational strategies at younger ages could have an impact on the welfare of working equids within communities.

Figure 2. Examples of children’s drawings including the needs they identified. Some of the needs drawn include corn (food), water, grooming and love, as represented by a heart (positive human-animal bond).


working donkeys; needs; animal welfare; education; children.


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