Harness and Carts
Donkeys were introduced to Zambia and other parts of southern Africa to replace oxen that had been lost due to disease, many of these donkeys were put to work using the ox-yokes. Ox-yokes are rudimentary, wooden contraptions made from roughly hewn and often exceedingly heavy tree branches which are not at all suitable for the slim, fragile necks of donkeys, causing damaging wounds, pain and suffering.
In addition to this donkeys are asked to pull carts that are far too heavy and poorly constructed. Carts are often made out of nothing more than a car or truck chassis, with a tree trunk attached to make a shaft at the front.
Donkeys are able to pull carts or ploughs but they should be fitted with harness that pull through their chests and withers, rather than on their necks or backs. Our expert harness makers have developed a simple design that can be made easily and cheaply using locally available materials. Much of our work is spent training owners how to make these harnesses and how to modify their carts to make them much lighter and more agile.