Licensing of donkey slaughterhouses suspended over extinction fears
- The government has suspended the licensing of donkey slaughter houses in a move aimed at preventing the extinction of the animals.
- Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary, Andrew Timur said the number of donkeys is low in the country and further licensing may lead to their extinction.
- It is reported that in China, millions of donkeys are farmed for their skins to produce a medicinal gelatin (ejiao).
The government has suspended the licensing of donkey slaughterhouses in a move aimed at saving the animals from extinction.
Announcing the decision on Thursday, the Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary, Andrew Timur said the number of donkeys is low in the country and more licenses may lead to their extinction.
Mr. Timur was addressing the annual Animal Production Society of Kenya Symposium in Nanyuki.
There are three donkey abattoirs in Kenya; in Turkana, Nakuru County, and another in Mogotio, Baringo County.
The slaughterhouses normally process donkey meat and hides for export to China and other countries in the Far East where they are in high demand.
One slaughterhouse, like the one in Baringo is said to have capacity to process 300 donkeys a day and this has brought about a boom for those who sell the animals.
The price of an adult donkey in the country is said to be between Ksh.10,000 and Sh15,000.
But there are many however who say this threatens the species with extinction.
Research by The Donkey Sanctuary reveals “a worrying trend in the growing trade and demand of donkey meat and skins, and its potential effects to global donkey populations and their welfare.”
It is reported that in China, millions of donkeys are farmed for their skins to produce a medicinal gelatin (ejiao). The global trading of donkey skins is now having an impact on donkey welfare and the livelihood of people around the world.
“The demand for ejiao has dramatically increased in the last few years. There used to be around 11 million donkeys in China but the number has dropped to 6 million in the last 20 years,” reports the Sanctuary.
“Donkeys and donkey skins are now being transported from other countries, including Africa. Most of these are being bought and sold by dealers but a significant number of donkeys are also being stolen from their owners.”
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