Just over eight months ago, The Donkey Sanctuary launched Under the Skin report: here there is an extract from the updates by Alex Mayers, Head of Programmes, on the progress that has been made since then, together with a call to anyone is dealing with donkeys Worldwide, to help us gather a better picture of the situation around the world by completing a short survey.
We’re so proud of the networking, lobbying, advocacy and media strengths of our partners on this issue. By adding your voices locally, regionally and globally, and putting in a great deal of leg-work, the donkey skin trade is now firmly on the global radar and real changes have been achieved.
- At least a dozen countries are now standing against the trade by banning exports and/or closing slaughterhouses. The most recent countries to make a stand include Chad, Uganda and Botswana and we recently got confirmation that Ghana has banned export. We’re currently checking strong rumours that Nigeria has also followed suit. The combined annual capacity of the slaughterhouses that have closed or been refused is about 600,000 donkeys - yet the illegal trade persists.
- West African Directors of Veterinary Services gathered together in Abuja and committed to banning the export of skins across the region.
- Great media coverage: front page coverage on USA Today, and an incredible piece in National Geographic linking the skin trade to illegal wildlife crime other criminal activity.
- Community-led protests, public statements and/or national press coverage against the trade in many countries including Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
- The ejiao industry in China has now admitted that donkey populations cannot be sustained in the current situation, and confirmed our suspicions that the population there is now just three million (down from six million just a few years ago, and from 11 million in the 1990s). Recent economic data has shown a dent in share prices too. As more and more countries turn off supply, the industry faces increased pressure to work towards alternatives where no donkey or person suffers in the name of ejiao.
- Far more has been going on behind the scenes with prosecutions, confiscations of hides, lobbying and media work across the world.
But of course there is still a lot more to do
Zimbabwean welfare organisations came together last week to fight a slaughterhouse in Bulawayo and this explosive undercover piece was just released.
Australia is also reportedly started exporting skins which is very concerning.
We are carrying out a number of research projects to understand the industry, issues and consumption of ejiao within China.
Please help by completing a short survey
As one of those research projects, we’d really appreciate your help with a short survey. To be able to tackle the trade, a more complete picture of what is happening around the world is crucial, and your answers will mean that we can work together to make better advocacy materials and messages with more accurate facts. Please also share the link with your wider network - the more people that complete this by 31st October, the better we can all tackle the trade.
Under the Skin: film from The Donkey Sanctuary
The following video contains graphic contents: viewer discretion is advised