The number of donkeys in the country will be depleted by 2022 if the ongoing trend to slaughter the animals is not stopped.
Two weeks after the government issued a one month notice to abattoirs involved in slaughtering of donkeys to close down, stakeholders warned that the numbers of the animals was on the decline.
This came as tens of donkey owners and water vendors in Naivasha held a peaceful demonstration to support the ban by Agriculture CS Peter Munya.
The demonstrators carrying placards held a peaceful demonstration around the town before handing a petition to the sub-county office.
According to the project manager Farming Systems Purity Njoroge, the number of slaughtered donkeys compared to those bred was five times higher. https://youtu.be/QskW3Q3DFjA
She noted that since the slaughterhouses started operations, 301,197 donkeys were slaughtered between 2016 and 2018 according to data from KARLO.
“At this rate is means that the population of donkeys in the country will be depleted by 2022 and we fully support the move to ban the trade,” she said.
Speaking after the demonstration, Njoroge said that the move had rendered hundreds of families jobless and threatened the number of the animals.
She said that there were over 600 workers employed in the four donkey-slaughterhouses in the country compared to thousands who benefitted from the animals.
“We are asking the county governments where the four abattoirs are located to make sure that this directive is enforced,” he said.
On his part, one of the donkey owners Elijah Mwangi said that many youths in Naivasha had been rendered jobless after their donkeys were stolen. https://youtu.be/mlufNbX-EPU
He said that due to an acute shortage of water in Naivasha, area residents relied on water vendors who in turn used donkeys.
“We support the move by CS Munya to close down all this slaughterhouses as they are responsible for donkey theft in Naivasha,” he said.
The sentiments were echoed by a former water vendor Zack Mwaura who said that he had turned into a motorcycle operator after his donkeys were stolen.
He said that there were fears tens of youths who relied on the donkeys would turn into crime if their animals were stolen.
Speaking earlier, the owner of Naivasha based Star Brilliant Donkey slaughterhouse John Kariuki defended their operations and denied dealing with stolen animals.
“We have some NGOs who have been inciting people to fight us instead of seeking ways of backing tens of donkey farmers who have immensely benefitted from this trade,” he said