Brooke EA is calling for a ban on the export of donkey skins trade from Kenya.

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Brooke East Africa is now calling for a ban on the export of donkey skins and associated products from Kenya and a crackdown on cross border smuggling of donkeys into Kenya for their skins.

Kenya is the epicenter of donkey crisis in Africa particularly with licensing of four slaughter houses where about 1,000 donkeys are slaughtered per day. Donkeys from Ethiopia and Somalia are smuggled into Kenya because the two countries have not legalized donkey slaughter.

300,000 donkeys were slaughtered across the country between January 2016 and December 2018 according to a KALRO report in 2019. The trade has seen hundreds of other donkeys stolen daily, slaughtered in bushes and stripped of their skins. The majority of donkey owners have lost their livelihoods in the process. In 2018 alone, close to 1,000 donkeys were reported stolen in several areas across Kenya.

The donkey skins are in high demand in China where they are boiled to make a gelatin called Ejiao. With many donkeys being slaughtered and exported from Africa each year, there is no doubt that donkey numbers across Africa have been decimated, causing a crisis for animals and people. Apart from the obvious devastating effect on the welfare of donkeys, the trade critically undermines the livelihoods of some of the most impoverished people and communities in Kenya.

A rapid assessment conducted in Narok, Nakuru and Baringo, found that 77% of donkey owners who lost donkeys have become poorer, 19.2% women donkey owners had reduced incomes, 35.6% women had increased labour, while another 15.8% children missed school.

Another study, BEC (2018), found that women and children bear the greatest burden in undertaking household transport using their backs which impact negatively on their health and development. Persons with disability and the elderly who have lost their donkeys have suffered the highest burden in accessing basic needs. The reduction of donkey population means the available donkeys are overworked leading to welfare issues. Insecurity has also increased within the donkey owning communities.

Click on the link below to look at the short video depicting the negative impact of Donkey hide trade in Kenya:


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