Ghanaian veterinary officers are unhappy with the failure of some countries within the West African sub-region to enforce the ban on slaughtering of donkeys.
They are calling for an immediate adherence to the directive to halt the indiscriminate slaughtering to protect donkeys.
Donkeys are used for farming activities and carting of goods in rural communities in the West African sub-region.
Chief veterinary officers in the sub region have indicated the alarming rate at which donkeys are being slaughtered could deplete their number within two years.
A communiqué released by the Veterinary Directorate under the Ministry of Agriculture in October 2016 after a conference in Abuja sought among other things to ban the indiscriminate slaughter of donkeys and the export of its hides in the sub-region with immediate effect.
But some countries are overlooking this directive.
The is what the Communiqué said
Ban on the Slaughter and Export of Donkey Skin.
“The conference of Chief Veterinary Officers in West African Sub-region met in Abuja, Nigeria from the 19th to 23rd of September, 2016.
At the end of this conference, a number of resolutions were taken and prominent among these was the resolution to ban the slaughter and export of donkey skins in the whole West African Sub-region.
It is noted that donkeys are used mainly for farming activities and for transporting goods in the rural areas.
The veterinary Services Directorate has observed with alarm, a sharp increase in the number of donkeys being slaughtered on daily basis especially in the northern part of the country. At this rate, the number of donkeys is likely to be depleted within the next two or three years.
The Veterinary Services Directorate has therefore decided to ban with immediate effect, the indiscriminate slaughtering of donkeys and the export of their skins. All Regional Veterinary Officers are to ensure that this directive is strictly complied with. Anybody caught defying the directive will be strictly dealth with”.
In the past one month, a Chinese donkey slaughtering company, known as Blue Coast, has established its tenth branch in the West Mamprusi District of the northern region.
Director of the company, Nicholas Leo, revealed the donkeys are imported from Burkina Faso and other for export of the meat to China.
A second visit by TV3 to Blue Coast revealed donkeys slaughtered within the one month period of operations are stuck in the company’s cold room as the operators explore avenues to meet the targeted quantity for export.
The Northern Regional Veterinary Officer, Dr Mathias Kojo Ayensu, however wants the enforcement of the ban on donkey slaughtering to stop companies like Blue Coast from slaughtering donkeys.
He expects Ghana to protect its boarders from being used to transport donkeys from other countries in the sub-region.
“If Burkina Task is allowing donkeys to be transferred to other countries then it means they have not enforced the ban on the slaughtering and that will have consequences on Ghana because dome of the animals are slaughtered here by the company”.
Directors of Blue Coast say they are unable shut operations unless asked by to do so by the local assembly.
The Vet officers claim the company’s operations violate the Public Health Act 2012 (ACT 851) which empowers the veterinary officers to conduct an anti-mortem on animals before they are slaughtered and post-mortem after they are slaughtered.
” The company has operated all this while without the involvement of officers from the regional and district veterinary service though they claim they have a private veterinary who inspects the animals”.
Blue Coast has branches in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya and looking forward to acquiring an export permit from Ghana’s Ministry Trade and Industry.
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