A man who was found skinning a cat in Nakuru town in Kenya on Sunday has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Nakuru Chief Magistrate Bernard Mararo convicted James Kimani on Monday after he pleaded guilty to charges of slaughtering and selling cat meat to unsuspecting customers.
Kimani was charged with two counts; slaughtering a cat for human consumption in a deceptive manner contrary to the Foods, Drugs and Chemical Substances Act and slaughtering an animal at an undesignated place contrary to the meat control regulations.
Magistrate Mararo handed the accused a two-year jail term with an option of Ksh.200,000 fine for the first charge and one year imprisonment or a Ksh.50,000 fine for the second offence.
In admitting the offence, Kimani pleaded for leniency claiming that he had been offered a job to deliver the cat meat at higher prices.
“I was not aware it was wrong to slaughter the cats in an open ground adding that he could have done his business in the forests,” said Kimani.
He said he had been selling the meat to unsuspecting samosa vendors and hotels within the town.
The middle-aged man was caught skinning a cat at an open field near the Nakuru Showground by local residents who threatened to lynch him.
According to witnesses, the accused had already cut the animal’s neck and was in the process of removing the skin.
Upon interrogation, Kimani, who was rescued from the mob by police, confessed to having been skinning cats for seven years adding that he had already slaughtered 1,000 of them.
He disclosed that he had ready market for his trade as some clients buy the skin while others go for the meat.