Donkey population has gone down by 800,000

The number of donkeys has reduced by over 800,000 in the last seven years, according to a report by the Association of Donkey Owners of Kenya (Adok).

In 2016, the country had 1.8 million donkeys, but this has since reduced to a million.

The drop is attributed to the opening of several slaughterhouses targeting the animals and failure to address breeding.

Adok on Monday, April 10, decried the rise in illegal slaughter of donkeys in six counties in the last couple of months.

According to the association's national chairman Robert Meitithia, demand for the animals' hide is on the rise and things could get worse.

“Demand for donkey hides in the Asian market has shot up, but China, which has over 7 million donkeys, is targeting local animals, which is unfair,” he said.

Addressing the press in Naivasha after a crisis meeting, Meitithia identified Nairobi, Kiambu, Kitui, Limuru and Turkana as the most affected regions.

“We have petitioned the Agriculture CS to intervene as most of the hides have been exported to China,” he said.

Albert Naidi from Turkana said that the county had lost over 50 per cent of its donkeys to theft and drought.

He warned that they were ready to take to the streets to protest slaughter of donkeys and ferrying of hides at night to unknown destinations.

“In Turkana, donkeys are part of our lives, and when cases of illegal slaughter rise, we are adversely affected hence the call for action,” he said.