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 becoming arduous or impossible tasks.
Recently, in a rural community in Tanzania, this is exactly what happened – only the precious vehicles weren’t cars, but donkeys. The villagers woke up to find all 24 of their hardworking animals had been 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 impact the global trading of donkeys skins is now having on donkey welfare and the livelihood of people around the world. The current demand for skins is relentless, and as the key ingredient in the prized Chinese medicine called ejiao, their prices have rocketed.
Communities the world over risk being impoverished and losing their independence. We have just published a report which 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 and communities must not be deprived of their only means of survival. Action must now be taken to curb this trade, in the interest of both animal and human welfare.