East African donkey farmers ask Kenya to ban donkey trade
Donkey farmers in the East African region want Kenya to ban trade in donkey hides following increased poaching that now threatens to decimate their population in the region, as they are slaughtered to meet rising demand for a traditional Chinese medicine.
There are four slaughter houses in Kenya with a combined average of 1 000 donkeys a day, with estimates by the Kenya Agricultural and Research Organisation (KALRO) indicating that, in the last three years, over 350 000 donkeys have been slaughtered in the country.
Mahamud Omar weeps uncontrollably as he narrates how donkey thefts have impoverished farmers in Kenya. His is not an isolated story, at a two-day conference held in Nairobi this week, farmers drawn from far as Ethiopia told of how donkey theft and cross-border smuggling has dented their sole source of livelihoods.