World Donkey Day throws spotlight on catastrophic donkey threat - Veterinary Practice
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World Donkey Day throws spotlight on catastrophic donkey threat

Local traders are killing millions of donkeys every year so their skins can be used as an ingredient in a traditional Chinese medicine

This World Donkey Day
(Saturday 8 May), international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary joined forces with the World Veterinary Association to highlight the skin
trade, the most serious threat donkeys have ever faced.

Local traders are killing
millions of donkeys every year so their skins can be used as an
ingredient in a traditional Chinese medicine – ejiao.

Donkey populations are
collapsing in some countries as demand for ejiao has led to
unsustainable numbers of donkeys being slaughtered.

An exclusive video produced
by the World Veterinary Association, with The Donkey Sanctuary, reveals the
appalling suffering donkeys are facing as a result of the trade. The video
will be released by the World Veterinary Association on World Donkey Day via
their website.

The video, Africa’s disappearing donkeys – The illegal
trade in donkey skins
also focuses on the devastating impact of the
trade on the livelihoods of millions of people in some of the world’s most
vulnerable communities who rely on these hardworking animals.

Over the last five years,
The Donkey Sanctuary has been disrupting the trade to protect as many donkeys
as possible from being sold, trafficked or stolen to be slaughtered.

The
charity also supports donkey-dependent communities with initiatives
to protect their working donkeys, as well as campaigning for
legislative change in countries to ban the slaughter of donkeys and to stop the
trade in their skins.

The Donkey Sanctuary has
formed new alliances at the United Nations to show how
crucial working donkeys are to a sustainable world. It has
also been engaging constructively within China on promoting non-donkey skin
alternatives for use in the production of ejiao and working
to improve farmed donkey welfare within the country.

In an interview to
support the film, Mike Baker, CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary, calls on
the ejiao industry to look for more
humane ways to manufacture its products.

Mike Baker said: “We are the
driving force behind global opposition to the skin trade and believe that no
donkey or person should suffer in the name of ejiao production.

“World Donkey Day is a time
to celebrate these incredible and hardworking animals. They support the
livelihoods of over 500 million people around the world; they deserve to be
celebrated and given our thanks. They do not deserve to be caught up in this
inhumane trade.”

Africa’s disappearing
donkeys – The illegal trade in donkey skins can
be viewed via The Donkey Sanctuary and WVA‘s websites from
Saturday 8 May 2021.

The Donkey Sanctuary is
a global leader for equine welfare, research and veterinary care. The charity
operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and
transportation.

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