27-02-2020 by Leni Frau
Finally Kenya has said stop the indiscriminate slaughter of donkeys, ordering the closure of all slaughterhouses in the country that also process meat from the equine mammal that in Africa lives more in the wild than on farm. With the great demand from China and also from Chinese citizens stationed in East Africa, the slaughter of donkeys in the last two years has seriously endangered the species, which is now in danger of disappearing from Kenya. In the meantime, slaughterhouses have sprung up which are dedicated solely to processing donkey meat. In Kenya there are fears that the country's donkey population could be decimated if nothing is done to stop the slaughter rate: it is estimated that up to 1,000 donkeys are slaughtered every day. If we continue with this average, within 10 years there will be no more donkeys.
The Minister of Agriculture of Kenya, Peter Munya, has ordered by immediate decree the closure of all donkey slaughterhouses in the country.
Munya has given the owners of the four Kenyan donkey slaughterhouses a month to slaughter other animals such as cattle and goats. The minister said that those who do not comply with this new legislation will have to close down.
Munya's announcement came after receiving representatives of farmers' groups who protested for several days outside the Ministry offices in Nairobi.
In fact, the farmers complained that, with the increase in demand for meat and donkey skin, the thefts of these animals have increased.
And in rural Kenya, donkeys are an essential part of life, fundamental in transporting wood and water and in some communities it is taboo to eat donkey meat.
Exports to China have increased demand as gelatin produced from boiled donkey skin would be one of the essential ingredients in Chinese products called "ejiao", popular health foods and part of traditional Chinese medicine.
According to a recent report by the Africa Network for Animal Welfare, when the first donkey slaughterhouse was established in 2016, an adult specimen was sold for about 50 dollars (about 46 euros), but prices skyrocketed to 200 dollars (about 184 euros).
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