The East African Nation had the idea of legalizing trade in donkey meat way back in 2012. This is because in China there is a high demand for its hide and this was a golden opportunity to be grabbed. However, Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary for the agriculture ministry, said that it was a bad decision since the population of donkeys dropped.
According to government data, the population of donkeys is at 1.2 million. Due to this population drop, the rural people especially the women were deeply scarred. People living in rural areas use donkeys to do hard manual work such as fetching water and firewood, and by them being scarce means that the human will do more work.
Protests From Farmers
Legalizing the trade of donkeys brought distress among the farmers. Women and men who use donkeys in their agricultural activities gathered around Peter Munya’s office to protest against the killing of the donkeys.
Munya’s Response Towards The Protests
The cabinet secretary reacted towards the protests by saying all donkey slaughterhouses that were licensed should be closed within 60 days. The 4 Kenyan abattoirs are requested to change into cow, sheep and chicken slaughtering. The CS adds on by saying,
“The benefits that are brought by the traditional work that donkeys do are much more than whatever benefit you might get by slaughtering a donkey and eating the meat,”
The Dark Side About Trading Donkeys
Since there is a great demand for donkey hides and meat, people are greedy and after more profits and therefore slaughter more donkeys. Due to this, there is an evolution of a black market that is constantly involved in crimes. The skin smuggling groups are hiring criminals who are involved in donkey theft.
Donkey Trade In China
China’s demand for donkey skin is very huge. This is because when the skin is boiled it produces a brown substance called gelatin. This substance is used in making traditional medicine and also in healthy foods.
According to the Donkey Sanctuary, a UK based charity, 1,800,00 skins are traded every year. However, this is quite low since the actual number of skins demand is up to 10,000,000. The government data recorded shows that the population of donkeys in China has dropped from 11m to 3m.
Most African countries have banned exports of donkey products to China. These countries include Senegal, Mali, Uganda, Botswana, Tanzania, and Niger.
Resultant Effects Following The Ban Of Donkey Slaughtering
A very crucial question following the ban of donkey trade and slaughtering is, how are the families that depended on this business going to move forward? Most people who were involved in the donkey business earned a livelihood from it since it created employment opportunities.
The business people are told to change to cows and sheep slaughtering. The business might be at recession before it picks up and becomes a boom. People who will lose their jobs due to the closure of the business entities might remain unemployed for some time.