Our project: Animal markets and transports in Tansania
As a country, Tanzania is strongly agricultural. More than 70 percent of the population lives and works in rural areas. Still today, the major part of the agricultural production serves self-sufficiency, whereas accumulated surpluses are sold. The government of Tanzania follows a market-based reform policy which aims at increasing agricultural production and strengthening private business. The increasing industrialization of Tanzania also affects the way 'farm' animals are kept and transported.
There are only few reliable data on the current number of 'farm' animals in Tanzania. According to UN-figures, in 2002, it has been more than 63 million animals consisting of 17,4m cattle, 15,8m sheep and goats, 460,000 pigs and 30,03m poultry.
In rural areas, the animals mostly live out in the open field. Cattle and goats are looked after by shepherds. In the daytime the animals graze outside the villages and at night, they are placed in stables or small paddocks. In the North and West of Tanzania, several Masai-tribes are keeping goats and cattle. But animals are also kept in cities. In Dar es Salaam for example we see 'dairy' cows being kept tethered inside small shacks.
In Tanzania, the purchase and sale of animals follows patterns similar to those in Europe. Animal markets are held throughout the country. According to their size, they are referred to as primary (small, rural), secondary (middle-sized, regional) and tertiary markets (large, transregional). The animals are herded to the markets on foot or are transported on trucks. These transports can take several days. The largest animal markets are located in cities and serve as transshipment points for middlemen and vendors to sell the animals they have bought up throughout the country to the highest bidding slaughterhouse.
Strict legislation & infrastructure for long distance animal transports
Tanzania’s animal welfare law is closely related to EU-legislation. Adopted in 2008, the animal welfare act states specific regulations on animal transport and husbandry. Besides, for some years, there is also a specially built infrastructure for the trade and transport of 'farm' animals and some of the markets were fitted with a basic infrastructure as well. In addition, there are several supply posts along the interstate roads where, for a fee, animal transports can take a rest, unload, feed, and water their animals. However, the drivers are to decide for themselves whether they make use of these supply posts or not. We notice that many transports just pass by, driving for long distances without resting the animals at all.
Missing implementation & severe animal welfare problems
Animals‘ Angels documented the loading of animals at markets and their unloading at slaughterhouses. Thereby we note that despite the strict legislation, serious animal welfare problems prevail:
- brutal and chaotic loading and unloading
- no provisions for injured animals
- shackled animals
- animals lifted and carried by their legs or fleece
- exhausted and dehydrated animals
- no water or food
- no shade
- brutal and medieval slaughter methods
- insufficient transport vehicles
- insufficient or missing infrastructure
A potential for more respect
In Tanzania, on government level as well as in local animal welfare organizations, there is an increasing awareness on welfare problems concerning 'farm' animals and the corresponding demand for action. With its experience and expertise, Animals’ Angels has the possibility to help increasing the respect and empathy towards animals in Tanzania and to improve the way they are handled.
What we want to achieve in Tanzania:
- Establish more respect and empathy towards 'farm' animals
- Application and implementation of the existing animal welfare legislation
Planned measures for 2016:
- Further investigations by our on-site team
- Support further improvements in animal handling
- Distribution of self-made leaflets and information signage
- Increase the involvement of the market's director and veterinarians
- Implementation of transport laws
- Create empathy and improve human-animal relationship
What we have achieved in Tanzania in 2015:
- Establishing our on-site team: 2 veterinarians of the local organization Taweso
- 15 inspections of Pugu cattle market, Dar Es Salaam
- 1 inspection of Pugu goat market, Dar Es Salaam
- Several meetings with the market administration
- First improvements in animal handling
- Producing information leaflets and signage