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Donkey owners protest at increased theft and slaughter

Donkey owners in Ongata Rongai are crying foul over the increased slaughter of their animals by a well-organised gang.

The owners, who operate carts in the busy town, suspect that the meat is sold in the city as the demand hit the roof in the festive season.

John Masha, a water vendor, was the latest victim. He stumbled upon the carcass of his donkey on Fifth Avenue after it disappeared a few days ago.

“The donkeys have been my source of livelihood. We have reported to the police, but no action has been taken,” he said.

They accused the police and veterinary officers of dragging their feet to stop the illegal business that has left some of their colleagues jobless.

By last week, they had lost six donkeys; two were slaughtered opposite the police station and two on Gataka Road.

No arrests

Sammy Ngang’a said he had lost eight donkeys and threatened to marshal his colleagues to take the law onto their hands to stop the menace if the gang was not arrested.

“Police advised us to take our donkeys to spend the night at the station. They later asked us to pay for the security provided. We don’t know where to go next,” he said.

Ngang’a said many water vendors had abandoned the business after losing their animals.

Rongai police boss Cyrus Ringera told NairobiNews that investigations were ongoing.

He, however, warned animal owners against breaking the law in their anger noting that they would be arrested.

Donkey meat is banned from local consumption.

The owners said they had stepped up patrols.