The number of donkeys climbed by 400,000 to 5.7 million, preserving Pakistan’s position as the world’s third-largest donkey population, according to Pakistan’s Economic Survey 2020-21. The donkey is the only pack animal whose population has increased by 100,000 each year since 2001/02, while the population of other animals such as camels, horses and mules has remained static for the past more than a decade.
Previously, during their five-year tenures, the PMLN and the PPP, the number of donkeys increased by 400,000 each. President Musharraf took a decade to add six hundred thousand donkeys, while Nawaz Sharif took only two years to add the same number to its total population in 1999.
Donkeys’ population increased from 4.5 million in 2008-09 to 5.4 million in 2018-19. In 1997-98, there were 3.2 million donkeys and 3.8 million in 1999-00. The survey says that the number of horses, camels, and mules remained stagnant at 0.4 million, 1.1 million and 0.2 million respectively.
The number of horses in the previous two governments of Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif remained stagnant at 0.4 million, and in Musharraf’s tenure, it was stagnant at 0.3 million. The number of buffalos during the last four years also increased by 4.9 million and reached 43.7 million. During the PMLN government, the buffalos’ population increased by 5.1 million and in the PPP government, it increased by 4.7 million. During the last year, the goats population increased by 2.2 million to 82.5 million and sheep by 300,000 to 31.9 million.