In Lamu East, Kenya, countless unwanted cats and kittens lead miserable lives of hunger, neglect and pain on the streets. With not a single shelter or veterinary clinic and no government help, street cats are left to breed unchecked, resulting in a deadly population boom and immense suffering for the animals. Together with a skilled team of local veterinarians, NFA conducts regular trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs to end the tragic cycle of birth, disease and death for Lamu East’s burgeoning street cat population.
In Nairobi, Kenya, we support the Kenya Society for the Protection & Care of Animals (KSPCA), a shelter home to over 250 dogs. They are also on the frontline of emergency rescue, cruelty investigation and community-based animal welfare programmes. We provide the KSPCA with a monthly grant to help cover the cost of pet food and vital veterinary care. Recently, we also provided critical funding for the mass sterilization, vaccination and general treatment of street dogs in impoverished slums in Nairobi.
In Kenya, we exposed a situation at a slaughterhouse where 2,000 donkeys a month were killed for their skins, which were then exported to China. Thanks in part to our efforts to raise awareness about the situation, donkey slaughter has now been banned in Kenya. The global purchase of donkeys and donkey skins is a savage operation run by organized Chinese syndicates who show no mercy for animals, or people that get in their way. They often descend on rural villages and steal donkeys, or force owners to sell at giveaway prices, then slaughter the animals in makeshift abattoirs.
Despite the legal ban on their slaughter, donkeys continue to be killed in their droves for the insatiable Chinese donkey-skin trade. Together with our partner, the Kenya Society for the Protection of Animals (KSPCA), we are working to help protect these gentle creatures. In 2023, we donated three off-road motorbikes to the Anti-Stock Theft Unit, aiming to reduce illicit activities.
In Tanzania, Network for Animals supports the Arusha Society for the Protection of Animals (ASPA), a small but dedicated organization that works tirelessly to improve the overall welfare of Tanzania’s suffering street dog population. In addition to the monthly grant we provide for food and veterinary supplies, NFA helps finance emergency rescues, regular mobile clinics and educational outreach programs.
An extensive undercover investigation by Network for Animals in June 2021 revealed the enormous scale and utter cruelty of the Chinese donkey skin trade in Africa. The Chinese use donkey skins to make a cosmetic called ejiao (pronounced “uh-jee-ow”), a pointless waste that has never been proven to work, and which kills millions of donkeys annually.
In Tanzania, we sent a team to investigate and chronicle illegal slaughtering practices at a Chinese-run donkey slaughterhouse in the north of the Shinyanga region. What we found directly opposed the regulations in place for animal welfare and humane slaughter. Tens of thousands of donkeys were being killed each month, and rather than giving them the compassion of a gentle, pain-free death, slaughterers were cruelly bludgeoning them with hammers.
Together with our partner, the Arusha Society for the Protection of Animals (ASPA), Network for Animals successfully lobbied the Tanzanian government to shut down the abattoir. This was a colossal victory for donkey welfare. In pursuit of more long-term solutions, we are also financing an educational outreach program to inform donkey owners of the proper care for donkeys.
In 2022, ASPA alerted us to a dreadful situation at a market in a rural region called Mirongoine. Every week, more than 1,000 donkeys are forced to walk 10 miles (16 kilometers) in the blistering heat while massively overladen, severely injured, hungry and with no access to fresh drinking water. We were able to construct a shaded area with built-in water troughs that can accommodate up to 200 donkeys. We laid pipes connected to the nearby municipal water supply and are pumping in an ample amount of water for thirsty donkeys. Our partner also regularly visits the market to treat the donkeys and monitor their welfare.
With the help of our major donor, the Brady Hunter Foundation, NFA constructed an additional three shaded areas with built-in water troughs in November 2023 to accommodate the remaining 600 donkeys who visit the market each week. In the remote town of Geita in northwestern Tanzania, donkeys are used to haul backbreaking weights in an archaic method of gold mining, causing terrible suffering to these gentle creatures. ASPA began conducting monthly visits to the area to provide the donkeys with deworming medication, medical care and proper saddlebags so they cannot be overloaded.