The Sunday Mail
BULAWAYO-BASED company Battlefront Investments has started building a US$150 000 state-of-the-art donkey meat abattoir that will have capacity to dress more than 70 animals daily.
Zimbabwe’s first such abattoir, in Waterford suburb, is expected online by monthend.
Battlefront Investments MD Mr Gareth Lumsden said the company had already started buying donkeys for slaughter in the next three weeks.
Battlefront Investments owns Acacia Abattoir and three butcheries in Bulawayo and one in Victoria Falls.
“I think we will have finished maybe in two or three weeks’ time and we should start slaughtering. That abattoir is for the slaughtering of donkeys,” said Mr Lumsden.
A tour of the facility showed the facility is almost complete, with final touches being put on processing rooms for meat and offals.
Mr Lumsden said the company would adhere to regulations pertaining to buying and movement of livestock.
Mr Lumsden said the company would try and have a senior Government official officially open the abattoir.
He said Battlefront was buying donkeys from Gokwe, Plumtree, Gwanda and areas near Gweru, and they were primarily targeting the Asian market segment for sales.
Battlefront, he said, was looking at filling the gap left by the closure of a donkey abattoir in neighbouring Botswana.
Botswana suspended export licenses for donkeys three months ago when people complained they were losing livestock to thieves who were selling the animals to the abattoir.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister (Livestock), Paddy Zhanda, said he was aware of the Bulawayo development.
“I’m not sure how the business will go because it takes longer for a donkey to grow as compared to other forms of livestock,” he said.
He continued, “. . .we don’t have a big population of donkeys. Countries with a huge population of donkeys are Botswana and Namibia. In actual fact, in Namibia donkeys are left to roam in the wild. We will get to know (more) of the abattoir when it’s complete as we are the ones that will inspect it,” said Deputy Minister Zhanda.