Donkey slaughterhouse in Ethiopia closed down following public anger and shock

Within months after its opening, donkey slaughterhouse is closed down in Ethiopia. Why was it opened in the first place is what people are pondering about.

Doneky slaughter House - Abattoir - Ethiopia - Ethiopian News
Credit : DW

borkena, Ethiopian News
April 21,2017

Against cultural, social and religious norms of Ethiopia, a Chinese firm was authorised to run donkey slaughter house in Debrezeit (Bishoftu), just south of the capital Addis Ababa, where hundreds were killed following stampede during a religious festival, Ireecha, late September 2016.

It became operational since last month.

Chinese donkey meat lovers were to get supplies from Ethiopia and the abattoir had a capacity to slaughter 200 donkeys a day. The country is said to have more than four million donkey. Apparently, the Chinese supplier was counting on that upon opening the slaughterhouse
Problem is donkey slaughterhouse came in a collision course with the values and norms of Ethiopian society. Donkey meat is not just a taboo as is completely forbidden in the Christian and Muslim religious traditions.

Presence of donkey slaughter house shocked and angered Ethiopians but they were not able to demonstrate to vent out anger and sense of humiliation as a country. Government does not allow it although it is constitutional. In fact, the government extended state of emergency by four more months a few weeks ago.

Despite that, Ethiopians persistently opposed donkey slaughter in Ethiopian soil. Government finally decided to close the Abattoir. Question that is lingering among Ethiopians is that why did government allowed it in the first place. For many, it does not seem to be simply pursuit of additional revenue.

There is a belief that government purposely wanted to psychologically torture Ethiopians and to demolish Ethiopian values and culture. Even in the worst of famine times in Ethiopia, it is not even usual to slaughter their cattle as they seen them more like part of the family and out of respect for them. Let alone donkey meat which considered somewhat like satanic.

In some sense, it sounded like attempted sinification of Ethiopian food culture. But analysts see economic repercussions as well.

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