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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Why your favorite nyama choma point could soon be serving you donkey meat

By Nicanor Ndiege

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Traders and lovers of donkey meat will soon have their delicacy back  after High Court quashed a ban on the slaughter of the animals.

This is after a successful application by a Naivasha-based Slaughterhouse- Start Briliant that sought to bar Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki from enforcing a legal notice that banned slaughtering of donkeys.

Munya had in February 2020, directed the management of slaughterhouses to stop their operations following concern that the donkey population was on a sharp decline.

The CS told reporters that abattoirs licensed to slaughter donkeys had a month to switch to slaughtering other animals – or else they would be closed.

“The policy of slaughtering donkeys for meat was not well thought out,” Munya said, adding that: “The benefits that are brought by the traditional work that donkeys do are much more than whatever benefit you might get by slaughtering a donkey and eating the meat.”

Other than the Naivasha-based donkey meat seller, other slaughterhouses that were affected by the ban were Goldox Kenya (Mogotio), Silzha (Turkana) and Fuhai (Machakos).

In their application before the High Court, Star Brilliant sought a judicial review of the legal notice.

Under a certificate of urgency, Star Brilliant noted that they had already received a notice from the State to stop their operations despite investing millions of shillings in the project.

In his ruling, Justice Richard Mwongo noted that the AG and the CS failed to file a response to the application challenging the legal notice.

He also noted that the legal notice violated the rights of Star Brilliant which has been operating in the country for over five years.

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“The State has failed to sufficiently defend this case and this court quashes the Legal Notice 63 of 2020 as it violates the rights of Star Brilliant under Article 47 of the Constitution,” he ruled.

The judge further noted that the State, through the office of the AG, had failed to respond to issues raised by the applicant.

Through lawyer Wairegi Kiarie, owners of the facility told the court their export license had been cancelled following the ban and that they could not also sell their product locally. 

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