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Declining Donkey Population Worries Animal Activists

There is an increasing worry about the disappearance of donkeys after the introduction of donkey slaughter houses in the country. 

According to an animal welfare charity organization, about 10,000 cases of donkey theft between the years 2016 and 2020 since the introduction of donkey slaughterhouses in the country.

That is according to Brooke East Africa regional director Dr. Raphael Kinoti has revealed. 

Mr Kinoti said the introduction of slaughterhouses in 2016 propelled cases of donkey theft, threatening the population and advocacy on donkey welfare in the country. 

He was speaking in Malindi, where he said that before the introduction of donkey slaughterhouses in the country, Brook East Africa, which opposed the introduction of donkey slaughterhouses, had questioned the sustainability of donkey slaughter and whether it can earn food and money. 

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“Every research in the world says donkey slaughter is not sustainable,” he said adding “China is the main market for this animal, China had a population of 11 million by 1992, and today they only have barely 2million donkeys.” 

Mr. Kinoti further added that the number of donkeys has dramatically gone down because the modern world does not have the technology to produce donkeys in big masses and so the rate at which they are being consumed so much higher than the rate at which we can produce today. 

“We are also advocating for donkeys to be included in the national policies so that when the rest of the animals are being vaccinated, the donkey can also be vaccinated because it is an important animal to many communities,” he said. 

Kinoti said they have seen scenarios where governments have been vaccinating donkeys against diseases such as rabies and urged county governments to include donkeys whenever they are vaccinating dogs against rabies. 

“Dogs transmit the disease to humans and donkeys also transmit the same especially to women who use them,” he said. 

Agriculture Livestock Fisheries and Blue Economy Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Lawrence Emuhaka said the government has rolled out a mass vaccination drive for livestock aimed at eradicating rabies in the country by the year 2030. 

Mr Emuhaka said vaccinating livestock against rabies disease is important since statistics show that one person dies every hour in the the world due to rabies which is a shocking revelation.  

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“Our plan is to eradicate rabies in the country and join other African countries which are also in the process of eradicating the disease,” he said adding “So far there are few countries that are rabies free such as the United Kingdom and Anti arctic countries but most countries are still struggling to eradicate the disease.” 

The CAS said it is expensive to treat rabies after a person is bitten by an infected dog or animal since it costs around Sh20,000 to treat a single person. 

“That is why we are doing vaccination for free. If we do that it will not cost much but if you wait to be bitten you will spend 20000,” he said adding that prevention is better than cure.” 

The CAS said one dog alone can bite over 20 people. 

“We are requesting for more people to come in so that we can be more effective and eradicate this disease by 2030 and am happy that we are on the right track,” he said. 

Kilifi County Executive Member (CEC) for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Dr Luciana Sanzua said the county government recorded 2006 cases of rabies last year which affected the economy due to the high costs of treatment. 

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“Each year, the county spends Sh15 million to treat rabies and thanked the cooperation with the KVA and the Ministry of livestock,” she said adding “this financial year we allocated Sh3million for the vaccine to treat over 2,000 animals despite  the fact that we have 600,000 goats, 260,000 cattle, cats among others.” 

Dr Sanzua said dogs and cats give birth to many puppies and kittens which end up becoming a nuisance to the community. 

“I urge all those people to ensure they take their cats and dogs for vaccination so as to reduce the rise in birth rate,” he said. 

Kenya Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council (KENTTEC) Chief Executive officer Dr. Pamela Olet said there are 38 countries in Africa affected by tsestse while in Kenya only 38 of the 47 counties are tsetse fly-infested. 

“The level of infestation differs but I can tell you that where we are, the coastal belt is heavily infested which is one of the major causes of poverty in this area,’ she said. 

She added that areas like Kwale has very good grass but there are no animals because of the infestation of tsetse fly and farmers are unable to treat their livestock since the drugs are expensive.  

“Currently, we are planning to carry out the intervention in Taita Taveta County followed by Galana in Kilifi and Tana River Counties,” she said adding “There is a lot to be done about tsetse fly infestation in these counties. 

*This article was written by Ramadhan Kambi for Uzalendo News.  Email: uzalendonews24@gmail.com to submit your story.

The post Declining Donkey Population Worries Animal Activists appeared first on Uzalendo News.

Ndungu Jay

Jay is a content creator at nairobitimes.co.ke with more than a year's experience in digital media. Armed with a Degree in Computer Science from Jomo Kenyatta University of agriculture and technology and an article already appeared on a US publication's website, he is exploring his chances of climbing up the Kenyan digital media ladder with a special focus on viral enriching content.
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