Police officers were in the wee hours of Friday forced to open fire on suspects who attempted to fight them during a raid on their property in Embu.
A statement by the National Police Service (NPS) indicated that the officers from Runyenjes Police Station raided the homestead within Kajekeru Village in Embu East and found a group of men slaughtering donkeys.
The men retaliated by attacking the officers, leading to a fight. The two men and a lady were armed with crude weapons that included pangas and knives.
However, the police overpowered the trio and arrested them.
Donkeys being reared at a ranch.
“Upon encounter, the men armed with crude weapons attempted an attack on the officers, prompting them to fire warning shots in the air,” read the police statement in part.
At the scene of the incident, the police recovered 20 freshly slaughtered donkey carcasses and one motor vehicle, a Toyota Noah.
The officers also recovered three pangas, 12 knives, one bow and six arrows.
Over the past year, donkey slaughter, which remains illegal as per the Kenyan Law, has been a hot topic vehemently opposed by the public.
In August, police officers in Kiambu County conducted a raid targeting an unscrupulous ring slaughtering donkeys in Kiahiti village.
In the incident, the officers recovered seven freshly butchered donkey carcasses, which were being readied for local consumption. Three suspects, however, escaped the raid.
Months earlier, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi hinted at lifting a ban on the slaughter of donkeys and the sale of donkey meat across the country.
In June, he argued that donkeys were classified as livestock and that lifting the ban would provide employment for the youth.
“If lifting the ban will ensure that young people go back to work, then I will make sure that everything possible is done so that they can get employment.
“If people can take the meat, then why don’t we give them the meat and even export so that we can have foreign currency from donkey meat,” he emphasised.
Kenyans, however, opposed the move arguing that it would disadvantage communities that depend on animals for transportation.
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi during a meeting at Kilimo House on Tuesday, April 25, 2023