The Acting Director of Veterinary Service Department of the Agriculture Ministry, Dr. Patrick Abakah has revealed that the ban on slaughtering and exportation of donkey meat in Ghana is still in force.
According to Dr Abakah, the ban was placed on the animal since 2016 when the country realised that Chinese nationals and their Ghanaian counterparts were killing the animals and exporting their skin.
He revealed this to the Republic Press in an exclusive interview in the Upper East Region during the tour of the Minister of Agriculture and his entourage to the three northern region namely Northern, North East and the Upper East regions to interact with farmers and stakeholders in the Agricultural industry.
Dr Abakah said the department took these steps because the donkeys’ population in the country is at the verge of extinction “so if we don’t put in measures to stop these activities in the next five to six years we will have to go to the zoo for the younger ones generation of the species.”
He stated that the ban was necessary because peasant farmers in North East Region and other parts of the country use these animals as means of transport and other activities.
“Donkeys are very strong animals which do not wear out easily so they use them to plough their farms because most of the farmers don’t have farm implements, that is why the ministry will not allow the animals to go on extinction,” Dr Abakah stated.
He added that Agric Extension Officers have identify two slaughter houses in Walewale and Nelerigu and have directed the Metropolitan and Municipal District Assemblies to collaborate and close those slaughter houses immediately.
“Here in Upper East Region, Donkey meat is a delicacy or a source of protein for some households so we cannot place total ban on it apart from exporting,” Dr Abakah hinted.
He stated that the ministry identifies China as the destination country for the Ghana donkey export.
According to the last donkey census carried out in 2015, Ghanaians owned some 14,500 donkeys.
Due to the slaughter, the number has declined sharply. The Ghana Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (SPCA) is deeply concerned that the donkeys are on the way to getting extinct in Ghana.