Alliance of Donkey Welfare Organizations in Kenya (ADWOK) has condemned illegal and in-humane donkeys slaughter in bushes and the sale of meat as steak to unsuspecting members of the public with reports of their skin being illegally exported to other countries.
In his statement, Titus Sagala ADWOK chairman recalled that in 2020, licenses of donkey abattoirs were suspended through the Ministry of Agriculture.
He further noted that illegal bush slaughter has been rampant in Ndeiya, Limuru and an expose was done by various media stations a few weeks ago showing over 1000 donkey carcasses found in Rwacumari area of Ndeiya that had been slaughtered for over a period of 1 month.
“This was after the perpetrators were arrested in the act of slaughtering donkeys deep in the bush in the early hours of the morning following an ambush by law enforcement agencies,”Sagala revealed.
There have also been several reports to the authorities of the same activities going on in the same area leading to more arrests and ambushes rescuing over 62 donkeys in the last one week.
It has also been reported that donkeys in large numbers have over time allegedly been ferried from Bomet and Transmara in a lorry with registration number KBY 325J which is already in custody. Other reports show that contrary to livestock movement procedures, a no-objection letter was not issued for the ferrying of donkeys to Limuru from Kitui yet there are copies of a movement permit issued from Kitui.
The movement permit had no reference number but was signed by a veterinary staff in Kitui. A counterfeit movement permit was issued in Bomet for the ferrying of donkeys to Limuru. These permits must be investigated fully to establish how they are issued contrary to procedures or forged by crooked individuals.
In a statement, ADWOK came out strongly to condemn bush donkey slaughter and donkey skin trade that has become a threat to the livelihoods of donkey-owning communities who depend on the use of donkeys in their day-to-day activities like fetching water both for domestic and commercial purposes, garbage collection and transportation of agricultural produce from the farm to the market.
“We condemn the inhumane act of cruelty to animals in line with CAP 360 of the Kenyan constitution and appeal to law enforcement agencies to intensify their vigilance and stop this illegal donkey movement, slaughter, sale of meat to the unsuspecting public, and skin trade,” ADWOK stated.
On the other hand, it demanded revocation of licenses that permit transportation of these donkeys and stop the export of donkey skins to other countries through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to ensure the security of working equines to safeguard the livelihoods of donkey owning communities who entirely rely on donkeys as a source of income in Kenya.
ADWOK is an open platform of registered organizations dedicated to improving the welfare of working animals in Kenya including: Ripple Effect, Caritas Kitui and The Donkey Santuary Kenya among others.