The average price of an adult donkey in Kenya has increased by around 225% since February 2017 from $38.77 to the current price of $126.02 on strong demand from the Chinese market.
According to Donkey Sanctuary (NGO), the increased demand for imported donkeys was as a result of a massive drop in China’s donkey population by more than half over the last two decades as the country has industrialized and the decimation of China’s own donkey populations. This made China turn into Kenya and other African markets where donkey population is quite high.
Donkey food in China
In China, donkey meat is considered a delicacy with some restaurants serving special donkey dishes. Aside the meat being a delicacy meat is considered a delicacy with some restaurants serving special donkey dishes. Aside the meat is a delicacy, there are other uses of the donkey after it is slaughtered.
Donkey skins are boiled to produce gelatin, a key ingredient in the traditional Chinese remedy Ejiao — which is included in many popular Chinse tonics and is believed to improve blood circulation and cure coughs, relieve insomnia and irregular menstruation. Ejiao now goes for $370 per kilo.
Over the last year, three firms have set up donkey slaughterhouses in Kenya to cater for the export market in order to sustain the ever-growing demand for Ejiao. Recently, Goldox Kenya Ltd was established in Chemogoch in Baringo Country at a cost of $ 2,908,107 while another plant was set up in Naivasha. On 24th of this month, Uganda became the latest African Country to protect its working donkey population by banning the trade in donkey skins in a strongly-worded statement. Some other African countries including Niger, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Maso, Tanzania, and Senegal have banned China from buying their donkeys, saying demand for the domestic had become unsustainable.
Several myths have always surrounded red meat. This has been issues of diseases and nutritional values. In several distances for decades. Cases of donkey slaughtered in Naivasha and Murange towns in Kenya have been alarming.
Recently, a group of baffled residents took to the streets Vegemently protesting after they came across donkey hooves and heads with meat missing: reportedly six had been slaughtered after roaming kids were paid $1.94 to send the donkeys to a nearby bush where the culprits were readily waiting to pounce with knives.
photo credit – http://nation.com.pk
One may argue that the untold greed has permeated into the society through endless theft and sale of illegal meat, but let’s face it despite the usual tasks of carrying and ferrying wares to markets and vending water using the animal, the authorities are overwhelmed and the unsuspecting Mwannachi at some time is being fed donkey meat at their comfort of their living room.
Despite government banning night meat transportation, nothing seems to have deterred this exercise which has left donkey owners lamenting.
It’s amazing Nairobi has always been suspected to be the buyers of the final product for many years even with the existence of all these slaughter houses, Burma and Dagoretti. With a special committee having being formed and in place to investigate on illegal donkey slaughtering sagas, the meat is reported to be on sale to unsuspecting consumers visiting favorite entertainment joints or in the residential estates.
photo credit – http://www.heraldlive.co.za
Therefore, to regulate the export of donkey meat to China and balance with the local illegal sale of the same, local farmers have been thought on the favorable farming methods for donkey keeping. Country Government of Baringo, Kenya is working on a country integrated development plan which has factored in Donkey products commercialization.
Despite all processes involved in donkey meat commercialization, the byproduct disposal has not been looked into. Recently, a group of residents took to the streets protesting bad odor from the company neighboring homesteads has had sleepless nights due to the bad smell emanating from the company has rendered its surrounding almost inhabitable. Matatu owners playing route Nakuru to Kabarnet have also joined the residence condemning the vice they have also had the smell while playing the route and have sent strong signal to the country government to warn the donkey meat company on their ways of waste disposal as diseases may arise due to poor environmental hazard poised by their donkey waste. A resident of Mogotio has moved to court to stop the operations of the company till a clear waste management plan is put in place.