Save The Donkeys: MoA calls for Animal Cruelty Act Review

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  • Current penalties too lenient to curb o indiscriminate donkeys slaughtering
  • The donkey population declining by 18 000 annually

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

FRANCISTOWN: Deputy Permanent Secretary Technical Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr John Moreki has expressed concern over the leniency of the Animal Cruelty Act, saying it does not help curb the decline of the donkey population.
Dr Moreki said to curb the significant killing or donkey cruelty there is need for the review of the act, “Currently perpetrators for donkey cruelty are only fined P50, this charge is so lenient and inconsiderate to the cruelty the donkeys are facing. Donkey welfare should not be compromised looking at its multiple use,” he said recently during a Donkey Awareness Workshop.
Dr Moreki noted with concern that Batswana connive with the foreigners to kill donkeys for the Asian market. “Locals should desist from this practice because the foreigners are the only ones benefitting from this lucrative Asian market. What is disheartening is that these locals sell a donkey at a cost of P400 just for the hides while at the Asian market it will be sold at approximately P8 000,” he noted.
Still at the workshop, concerned donkey farmers and community leaders reiterated the need to review the Animal Cruelty Act saying it is the only intervention that can curb the decline of donkey population in the country. Most of them were of the view that the donkey trade needs to be reviewed in order for Batswana to also benefit unlike in the current process where only foreigners benefit handsomely.
The Botswana Gazette recently published an Ox Farm story which detailed the connection of a cartel made up of a Chinese businessman and Zimbabwean men who were found in illegal possession of 897 wet donkey skins and 303 dried donkey skins.

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