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Police seize donkey meat in Kiambu

Police have seized slaughtered donkeys at a thicket in Kiambu.

The recovery, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said, followed a midnight raid at Kiahiti village in Gatune sub-location.

More than seven carcasses were found.

“Earlier, the officers based at Nachu police post had gathered intelligence on the impending slaughter and arrived at the scene on time as the unscrupulous meat vendors slaughtered the beasts of burden, whose meat finds its way to butcheries and meat joints in the city disguised as beef,” the DCI said in an X (tweet).

The officers also discovered that after slaughtering the animals, the unscrupulous traders extract boneless meat from their carcasses which is sold in Nairobi disguised as beef fillets and other boneless chops.

“No flesh is left to waste as the traders also package the donkey intestines, kidneys and other internal organs which are sold to outlets dealing in popular roadside delicacy, mutura,” the DCI added.

In February 2023, the government said it will start inspecting butcheries, hotels and other eateries in the county to ensure people are not eating donkey meat without their knowledge.

It said that the animals are stolen and slaughtered in bushes and their meat stashed in polythene bags before they are transported to different eateries.

According to the police, they are sold to butcheries in the county as well as in the nearby county of Nairobi.

It is alleged that the meat which is packed in steak form, is sold in butcheries and also it’s used to prepare mutura, samosas and other types of meat pie.

The trade in donkey meat and hide was legalized in Kenya in 2012. Although Veterinary experts say donkey meat is safe for human consumption, its consumption is yet to gain ground in Kenya.

A report from Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) showed that more than 4,000 donkeys were reported stolen over the period April 2016 to December 2018.

Kenya had in 2016 licensed four donkey abattoirs which is far more than any other country on the African continent.

In 2021, the High Court lifted a 2020 ban on donkey slaughterhouses, allowing them to resume selling the meat and hides to Asian markets.

The high price for donkey hides for use in Chinese medicine led to donkey poaching and sparked fears the animals could eventually go extinct.

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