Alarm has been raised over increased illegal donkey slaughtering in Wenzyee area of Mwingi West sub-county, Kitui, attributed to a lucrative Chinese black market for donkey hides.
Caritas Kitui-Mtunze Punda project coordinator Donald Kituku condemned as bizarre the illegal activities by the unknown persons.
There was an attempt to skin a donkey alive at the area. The perpetrators of the illegal business attempted it at night as the donkeys were kept in an isolated location,” said Kituku.
The vet confirmed the donkey had deep cuts on the left forelimb as the thieves tried to demobilize the animal before killing it but they ran away when they realized they had been seen by the owners.
Bernard Waweru, a Caritas Vet, said the incident is alarming, adding that the illegal trade will deprive families their livelihood.
The main aim of the trade is to get the donkey skin whose demand has quadrupled in the China market. illegal skinning of donkeys in Kitui is depriving the community their livelihoods, as most women rely on the animal for transportation of water to their homesteads and also for commercial use,” said Dr Bernard Waweru, a Caritas Vet.
To mitigate the emerging issues, Musyimi said Caritas team and local leaders have embarked on a sensitisation mission to advise donkey owners to properly house their animal especially at night to prevent them from the menace of illegal skinning and theft.