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Narok residents want donkey abattoir permits suspended to save animals

By Robert Kiplagat | Updated Wed, February 22nd 2017 at 13:35 GMT +3
Residents inspect donkey carcasses at Mpopong’i area. The donkeys were killed and their skins, ears, and tails taken away. [PHOTO:ROBERT KIPLAGAT]

Residents have asked the government to suspend the permits of donkey abattoirs to check the theft of the animals.

Yesterday, police found 10 donkey carcasses with their skins, ears, and tails missing.

This brings to 32 the number of donkeys that have been killed in a similar fashion in the past two weeks.

In the latest incident, a licensed trader who had bought donkeys for Brilliant Star and Goldox donkey slaughterhouses in Naivasha and Baringo respectively lost his 16 animals to thieves.

Eight were found slaughtered while the rest are still missing.

“I bought the donkeys on Sunday and put them in a fenced place to wait for transport to the slaughterhouses. However, I did not find any when I woke up. We followed the trail which led us into the bushes at Mpopong’i, where we found the carcasses,” Mr Samuel Kamau said.

DEMAND FOR DONKEYS

Dr Joseph Liaulo, a veterinary officer with Framing Systems Kenya, a donkey welfare group, said the continued operation of the abattoirs has increased demand for donkeys.

Area police chief Paul Kiogora said officers were investigating the incident.

“I have suffered a huge blow. I spent Sh192,000 buying the 16 donkeys each at Sh12,000. I’m perturbed that the donkeys were killed in a brutal manner with their skins, ears and tails being taken away,” said Kamau.

Mr Kiogora said the current wave of donkey thefts was alarming.

“We received reports of 16 donkeys missing in Narok town. We started the search and are working with the local residents. We found eight donkey carcasses which we believe belong to the complainant,”said Kiogora.

Kiogora said since the wave of thefts started, three suspects have been arrested and charged.

BAN TRADE

Donkey welfare groups in the area have asked the government to ban trade in the animals to save them. The animals are the sole means of transport for the region’s pastoralists.

Dr Liaulo said the continued operation of the abattoirs was a threat to the donkey population.

“Other countries that started issuing permits for donkey slaughter such as Niger, Burkina Faso and even our neighbour, Tanzania, have since banned the business. It is high time Kenya follow suit,” said Dr Liaulo.

Last week, residents of Katakala area held a peaceful demonstration to protest against rampant donkey theft in the area.

The demonstration was prompted by the disappearance of more than 100 donkeys in just two months, raising concern over the future of the animals.

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