Background: Ethnoveterinary medicine is a scientific term for traditional animal health care that encompasses knowledge, belief, practice and skill of the community used for curing diseases and maintaining health of animals. A cross-sectional study was conducted using semi-structured questionnaires from September 2016 to August 2017 to gather information on the knowledge, practice and skill of the pastoralists and traditional healers about the importance and application of Ethno-veterinary medicine. Moreover, this study was conducted with the objectives of identification and documentation of major ethno-veterinary medicinal plants commonly used to treat camel aliments in Afar region.
Result: A total of 146 traditional healers and pastoralists were interviewed for baseline and reliable information about Ethno-veterinary medicinal practice in Afar region. Accordingly, 99.3% of the respondents were men in which 66.44% of them were in the age range of 45-60. Majorities (76.02%) of the information’s concerning EVM were obtained from the elders among which 84.93% responded that the overall EVM practice and status in pastoral society of Afar is decreasing. A total of 710 plant species supposed to have medicinal property were recommended by pastoralists to be used for the treatment of 49 different animal diseases. Among 64 plants specimen collected, Balanites aegyptia, Cissus rotundifolia (Forssk.) Vahl, Cadaba rotundifolia Forssk, Solanum sp, Acalypha indica L and Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karsts were the commonly used plant species with high fidelity value. Concerned with plant parts used, leaf (20.5%) was the most frequently used plant parts followed by root (19.4%), fruit (14.4%), seed (10.8%) and entire plant (8.8%). These herbal remedies were administered orally, nasally, ocular and topically.
Conclusion: pastoralists and traditional healers in Afar region have immense indigenous knowledge and practices of treating sick animals which should be supported by scientific techniques for analyzing the active ingredients contained in each plant species and for evaluating the safety, efficacy and dosage of the commonly used medicinal plants. In addition, on station establishment of commonly used medicinal plant nursery for conservation purpose and to conduct in-depth phytochemical analysis is paramount important.