• The donkey owners marched in the streets of Machakos town waving placards in protest against the loss of more than 200 animals
• The abattoir, which was recently closed by the county assembly for breach of regulations, is being renovated
Machakos donkey owners want Kithyoko donkey slaughterhouse closed after hundreds of their beasts of burden disappeared in unexplained circumstances.
Yesterday, they marched in the streets of Machakos town waving placards in protest against the loss of more than 200 donkeys.
The protesters were drawn from all the eight sub-counties. They complained that since the slaughterhouse was opened in Masinga sub-county, donkeys have been disappearing mysteriously.
They argued that there was no public participation before the slaughterhouse was opened.
"We have come together as Machakos residents to demand this slaughterhouse in Masinga sub-county to be closed. It has been stealing our donkeys, slaughtering them and selling the meat to other countries like China," Machakos Donkey Owners Association representative Fidelis Mwalimu said.
Mwalimu called for the shutting down of all the slaughterhouses in the county to save their donkeys. He feared that the animals will soon be extinct if the status quo persists.
He claimed the smelly slaughterhouse was a threat to their health and the environment.
A donkey's skin sells at more than Sh15,000 locally.
The abattoir, which was recently closed by the county assembly for breach of regulations, is being renovated.
County majority leader Mark Muendo told reporters after the demonstrators handed their petition to the clerk of the county assembly, that the donkeys were threatened as some foreigners slaughtered them for meat exports.
"I will support this petition to shut down all the donkey slaughterhouses. Kenyans don't consume donkey meat," Muendo said.