Ban on the slaughter of donkeys has been renewed following reported cases of increased theft in the donkey rearing regions such as Turkana, Bomet, Narok, Nairobi, Nakuru, and Kirinyaga county.
Donkey welfare lobby, Kenya Network for the Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies (Kendat), claimed that, with the lifting of the 2020 ban on donkey slaughterhouses by the High court in 2021, Kenya’s donkey population was under threat as poaching was on the rise due to high demand and prices of donkey meat and hides in the Asian markets.
Kendat CEO Eston Muriithi speaking in Mwea Sub-county, Kirinyaga on Wednesday during a sports competition noted that, the legalization of donkey slaughter, has posed a threat to one of the most significant and profitable domestic animals in the country owing to its contribution to people’s livelihoods in rural and peri-urban areas.
Muriithi’s sports competition organized was aimed at sensitizing the donkey-owning community adding that, the donkey was the most valuable domestic animal based on its use in transportation while enhancing accessibility to hard-to-reach areas such as footpaths and marshy areas.
Kendat in partnership with Brooke East Africa has been in the frontline in the implementation of the Heshimu Punda (respect the donkeys) program aimed at improving the welfare of working donkeys.
Another Kendat official, Cynthia Njeri, said through sports, they have been able to reach many farmers with the messages of how to get the most out of a donkey through proper care such as right feeding, housing, de-worming, and treatment.
“We also advise owners and users of donkeys against mistreatment such as overloading and whipping,” Ms. Njeri said.
Farmer, Mary Muthee, said her day to day life revolves around donkeys as it has for years been the only source of livelihood for her family, as she also called for closure of all donkey abattoirs to save their economy.
“I live a decent life courtesy of donkeys as I am able to comfortably meet my financial needs such as educating and clothing my children as well as making savings in financial institutions from the income I generate from my working animals,” the farmer said.
Area Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) Purity Mengich called on motorists to be alert and respect donkey carts users as the area economy was heavily dependent on donkey for transportation of rice harvest to the mills.