Donkey prices up by Sh10,000 after ban on slaughter and meat export

301,977 donkeys were slaughtered between 2016 and 2018

In Summary

• Agriculture CS Peter Munya banned the slaughter and export of donkeys in February.

• This followed concern by the owners over increased thefts due to demand mainly from China of donkey by-products like meat, skin and hooves.

A donkey carcase in Kihoto, Naivasha.
A donkey carcase in Kihoto, Naivasha.
Image: FILE

Donkey prices have increased by as much as Sh10,000 since the ban on slaughterhouses in February.

Before the ban, a donkey was sold at Sh7,000-Sh10,000 but this has gone up to a high of Sh20,000-Sh25,000, according to Alliance of Donkey Welfare Organisation in Kenya chairman Raphael Kinoti.

Kinoti spoke on Tuesday in Nairobi during a forum on the update on the ban of donkey slaughter.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya in February banned the slaughter and export of donkeys following an uproar from owners over increased thefts due to the high demand of their meat, skins and hooves.  

Munya said the rise in donkey thefts had impacted negatively on the livelihoods of communities that rely on the animal for incomes.  

The CS revoked the licences of the four main donkey slaughterhouses and gave them one month to shift to handling other animals like sheep, goat and cows.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai said the concerned players went to court after the ban and the case is still in court.

“But so far, no veterinary officer is allowed to inspect and authorise a donkey for slaughter. Anything going on is illegal and should be reported to the authorities,” Kimtai said.

The donkey was gazetted as a food animal in 1999, with the aim of curbing  slaughter in bushes and improving food safety.

Kinoti said the increase in global demand for donkey skin led to the establishment and licensing of donkey slaughterhouses between 2016 and 2018.

Four export slaughterhouses were licensed  - Goldox Kenya Ltd in Baringo, Star Brilliant Donkey Abattoir in Nakuru, Silzha Ltd in Turkana and Fuhai Machakos Trading Co Ltd in Kithyoko.  

Research by Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation in 2019 on the status of donkey slaughter in Kenya and its implication on community livelihoods showed 301,977 donkeys were slaughtered between 2016 and 2018 in the four abattoirs.

The report further said donkey keepers and users whose livelihoods depended on the  animal earned an average of Sh11,390.00 per month from their provision of transport services.

Kinoti called on the government to maintain the ban on commercial slaughter to safeguard the livelihoods of the poor communities.

“If new donkey farming systems are developed in Kenya, as it has been proposed by some entrepreneurs, the government must ensure these systems are sustainable, have satisfactory standards in relation to biosecurity, donkey welfare and environmental impacts as stipulated in the legislation,” he said.

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