KENYA – Police have nabbed four suspects involved in selling stolen donkey meat in Nairobi’s Burma market.

This was after enraged villagers intercepted them allegedly slaughtering 30 donkeys near River Sagana.

Kirwarwa Sub-location Assistant Chief Zacharia Miano Muchiri revealed that although four suspects were apprehended, three others managed to evade capture.

One of the suspects confessed that they sold the stolen donkey meat at Burma Market in Nairobi and paid those involved in the slaughter Ksh 10,000 (US$75.33) after concluding the business.

Incidents of donkey theft have apparently become increasingly prevalent across the country.

In a similar occurrence earlier this year, police arrested two individuals and impounded a motor vehicle in Lower Yatta, Kitui County, after recovering donkey meat.

Last year, freshly slaughtered donkey carcasses, poised to enter the unsuspecting food chain, were discovered sprawled across the ground in Kiambu County’s Kiahiti village.

The illicit traders harvested boneless meat from the donkey carcasses. This clandestine meat was then packaged and peddled to an unsuspecting urban clientele, masquerading as premium beef fillet and other succulent boneless cuts.

Kenya’s High Court lifted a ban on the slaughter and sale of donkey meat in 2021 after a slaughterhouse and a section of herders challenged the ban in court, saying they were losing revenue.

The government ordered donkey slaughterhouses closed in 2020, as concerns rose over the theft of the animals by gangs seeking their skin and other products. Kenya licensed four donkey abattoirs in 2016, far more than any other country on the African continent.

As the investigations unfold, authorities are working to uncover the full extent of the illicit operation and ensure justice is served.

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