A Non-Governmental organization dubbed Ripple Effects has started a campaign against donkey slaughter in the country which is attributed to the decline in the population of the animals.
The organization Project Coordinator Dr. Peter Ngielo blamed the government’s decision of licensing donkey abattoirs, saying that the animals’ population has tremendously reduced.
“We are shocked by the decision of the government to license donkey slaughterhouses in Kenya. The opening of six donkey abattoirs in the country has seen a significant reduction in the population of the animals.
If the abattoirs slaughter 1000 donkeys in a day then you can imagine the number of donkeys being slaughtered in a year,” said Ngielo.
Speaking Friday during a media engagement forum in Homa Bay town, he said that these killings have further resulted in a lot of theft as many people hunt donkeys for their skin and meat.
According to survey, Homa Bay had a total of 18,789 donkeys in 2009 but by 2019, reports indicated that the number had dropped to 14,046, which is a 25 per cent reduction in their population.
Ngielo called on the government to impose a total ban on their slaughter and the trending Donkey Hides Trade (DHT), adding that these animals are very valuable to farmers as they contribute to their livelihoods.
“We urge the government and relevant agencies to impose a total ban on donkey slaughter. The rate of decline of donkeys is alarming and continued killings will create more harm than good. The revenue collected from their slaughter cannot be compared to what the farmers lose when these animals are butchered,” he said.
Ngielo asked for government’s support to famers who are affected by this through coming up with measures to restore the animals’ population.
“The government should also provide support to the farmers who are affected by coming up with measures to restore the number of the donkeys that have been lost so that they can regain their source of income once again,” Ngielo added.
Ripple Effects had partnered with Brooke East Africa organization to facilitate community activities to ensure sustainable improvement in the donkey welfare not only in Homa Bay but also other parts of Kenya.
The two organisations are yet to implement a donkey welfare project in Homa Bay and Bungoma Counties as they fight against DHT that is affecting communities.
By Otieno Angela and Sitna Omar