Farmers together with non-governmental organisations have condemned the drastic rise in the theft of donkeys within Nakuru, Narok, Baringo and Bomet counties.
They have now called on the government to put strict measures on the controversial donkey meat industry in order to end the menace.
In an event held by Farming Systems Kenya (FSK) and Brooke East Africa at Njoro Park, Nakuru to strategize on how to protect the animals from theft and torture, the three groups complained that the increasing trend in theft of donkeys is alarming the population of the animals is dwindling.
The groups complained that cases of thefts of donkeys in Nakuru County have increased from a maximum of five per month to 35 following the establishment of donkey abattoirs.
“Every now and then our organisation is receiving complaints from farmers of their donkeys having been stolen,” said Mr Raphael Kinoti, FSK CEO.
Mr Kinoti added that police officers are reluctant to contain the theft of the animals since they are turning away farmers who report theft of their donkeys.
“Farmers have reported of police officers who laugh them off when they report that their donkeys have been stolen telling them that those are not serious cases to record,” Mr Kinoti said.
The official said the groups had begun talks with police officers and other administrators in order to sensitise them on the importance of donkeys and the need to seriously address their thefts.
Brooke’s Advocacy Officer Samuel Theuri urged the government to scrutinise those selling the animals to slaughter houses and make it a strict requirement for them to have licences in order to reduce the thefts.
“The reason these cases have increased is because people just sell the donkeys without being asked where they get them from. The government should make it a requirement that sellers of the animals have licences in order to operate,” Mr Theuri said.
The farmers who attended the event complained that despite the animals helping them in most of their domestic chores, the rate at which they are being stolen is now alarming.