A Chinese company, Fu Hai Trading Enterprise CC, has applied for land with the Outjo municipality, on which is plans to construct a donkey meat abattoir for the Chinese market.
The Outjo municipality has also issued a principal agreement approval to the company, The Villager understands. When The Villager spoke to Outjo Municipality Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph /Urib he said that the municipality has advertised their intention to provide the land, however no decision had been made yet as they have called for objections from the public that would determine their judgement.
“We have given the Chinese Company a Principal Agreement Approval which means that they have to consult the Ministry Of Agriculture and Forestry for approval and then come back to us with the prove of approval and then we are able to sell the land for that certain purpose,” he said.
Although the company indicated that their plan is to also import donkeys from Botswana, /Urib said that he is not in a position to say what exactly the operations of the abattoir would entail as they were still waiting for the final business proposal from Fu Hai Trading Enterprise. He also mentioned that, “I can only confirm the municipality’s plan to sell the land to Fu Hai Trading Enterprise CC to build an abattoir but I am not sure of whether the abattoirs products would be for local or export markets and I am also not certain about whether the donkeys would be slaughtered for their meat only or also for their skin.”
Despite /Urib knowing the exact plan for the forthcoming donkey abattoir, The Villager can reveal that there is a Chinese Market interested in China as their products are used to make medicines in China. Research shows that, only the very poorest communities in China still rely on donkeys for their day to day needs, however after two decades of the country’s economic growth, the country’s donkey population has dropped by almost half and this decline has had an unintended consequences for traditional medicine and therefore are manufacturers turning to Africa where donkey populations remain in rude health.
Meanwhile, In Niger 80,000 donkeys have been exported to China in 2016 compared to 27, 00 exported in 2015. In Burkina Faso, donkey traders also sold 18 000 donkeys to international buyers in the first quarter of 2016 up from just 1 000 for the same period, while in Kenya a donkey abattoir opened in April 2016 in Naivasha to cater for the burgeoning Chinese market. In South Africa, the surge in demand has led to a rise in cruelty towards, and theft of, donkeys.
In a statement of the National Council of Societies for the Protection of Animals (NSPCA) saying that it was horrified to confirm that donkeys are the latest victims of the trade in animal parts for medicinal purposes’ to the far east. Donkeys are being rounded up, stolen, then transported and brutally slaughtered for their skins.
The Namibian also reported last year that Agrinature, a company registered in September 2015 and owned by Namibian and Chinese investors also already had plans for a donkey abattoir as well as meat processing plant in Okahandja and it was not well received by some Namibians and the Okahandja community who strongly objected to the idea of the intended slaughter house.