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Concern over donkey safety as slaughter ban is lifted

Donkeys have started disappearing once again in Bomet County after the High Court in Nairobi lifted the ban on slaughter of the animal.

Last week, the Court lifted prohibition for the slaughter of donkeys after the state failed to respond to an application challenging the legal notice.

Famers in Bomet County have already started feeling the impact of losing their animals to thieves, thus raising the alarm.

Mr Gilbert Yegon, a farmer from Konoin Sub-county, informed KNA that with the ban suspended many animals will be in danger of being stolen for slaughter once again.

“Donkeys need to be treated as endangered species, soon we won’t be having these animals in our farms, and they will run extinct, we are urging the government to protect our farm’s beasts of burden,” lamented Mr Yegon.

Statistics from Farming System Kenya, an NGO funded by Brooke Bond Company, looking at the welfares of donkeys in parts of Bomet and Narok County, revealed that most of these cases have been reported in Konoin and Bomet East Sub-county.

Dr. Denies Kipkorir, a Veterinary Officer working with Farming System Kenya, informed KNA that most of the cases reported in the area happened way back before 2019 when the ban was imposed.

“Since 2019 when Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Peter Munya, imposed the ban, cases of donkeys being stolen have been minimized. We don’t know what will happen after the ban was lifted,” wondered Dr. Kirui.

Data from the NGO also revealed that in the year 2018 alone, 150 donkeys were stolen from the County with only nine of them recovered.

Most of the animals were skinned and their carcass left decomposing in the bushes, reports have indicated their skin is used for medicinal purpose.

Cheruiyot Victor, a Community Development Officer, however informed KNA that they have ongoing sensitizing campaigns where they get in touch with farmers to educate them on how to minimize cases of theft.

“We have donkey supporting initiative and sensitizing activities whereby we are encouraging farmers to cease leaving the animals in open, we also encourage them to build houses, we also engage police with administrators,” explained Cheruiyot.

Animal Welfare Laws and Protection Act Cap 360 prohibit one from stuffing animals in a lorry and transporting them, according to the Act anyone found culpable is liable for the offence.

The Act has also minimized cases of thefts as most of those who are operating the trade cartels tend to transport animals by lorries which are then flagged down by police.

By Lamech Arisa

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