Donkeys put out of their misery in Zimbabwe

A total of 78 donkeys have been euthanised over a four month period at what would have been Zimbabwe’s first abattoir for these animals, after inspectors found that they were either ill or badly injured.

Donkeys put out of their misery in Zimbabwe

Officials of the Zimbabwe SPCA, Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ), and the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services (DLVS), who inspected the animals at a feedlot in Bulawayo between October 2017 and January this year, had given authorisation for the animals to be put down.

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Animal welfare officer at VAWZ, Mel Hood, said: “We conduct regular inspections at that place so any decision is based on what we see on the ground. Our only option was to put the animals down.”

The abattoir was supposed to start operating in October 2017 after Zimbabwean company, Battlefront Investments, had invested US$150 000 (R1,8 million) in establishing it. Further funds were invested in buying 200 donkeys from various parts of the country.

Battlefront Investments had plans to export donkey meat and hides to China where it is processed into ejiao, a popular traditional Chinese medicine.

However, Josphat Nyika, a director of DLVS, told Farmer’s Weekly that the donkey abattoir had not been approved. “An application for setting up such an investment has not come to my office. The law does not allow any abattoir to slaughter donkeys,” he said.