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Cuba asks its mules to raise a hoof and be counted

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[February 19, 2010]  HAVANA (AP) -- Will all Cuban mules please stand up? Or at least raise a hoof or two.

The communist government says it is facing a major mule deficit and has commissioned a census of the beasts of burden to determine how bad the problem is.

How many mules are in Cuba is unknown -- hence the need for the census. But authorities tell the government news agency AIN that the island may be facing a deficit of 8,000 in highlands areas alone.

The agency praised the animals as "very important for the transportation of food in mountainous areas."

Officials will carry out the census between March 1 and 10.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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