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The pathetic donkeys of Tanzania

Updated: Apr 22, 2022

(By Mike Baker – Chief Executive of the Donkey Sanctuary)

Can you imagine what it must be like to wake up one morning and find that every car in your town or village has been stripped of its engine and wheels? No vehicles – no means of transport for you or anyone in your community.

All those journeys we take for granted – the school run, getting to work every day, the food shop – suddenly become arduous or impossible tasks. Recently, in a rural community in Tanzania, this is exactly what happened – only the previous vehicles weren’t cars, but donkeys.

The villagers woke up to find all 24 of their hard-working animals were stolen, killed and stripped of their skins overnight. - A devastating blow for the community and a horrific way for these hard-working donkeys to die.

This is just one example of the worldwide impact the global trading of donkeys’ skins now has on donkey welfare and peoples livelihoods.

The current demand for skins is relentless, and as the key ingredient in the prized traditional Chinese medicine called ejiao, their prices have rocketed. Communities the world over risk being impoverished and losing their independence.

Our report reveals the shocking scale of this global trade as it races to keep up with an ever-growing demand for the product.

Donkey populations cannot continue to be decimated - communities must not be deprived of their only means of survival. Immediate action must be taken to curb this trade in the interest of both animal and human welfare.

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