The Donkey Sanctuary attended the second Africa Animal Welfare Conference (AAW) in Nairobi, Kenya this week, the focus of which was ‘People, Animals and Planet: One Health, One Welfare.’

Representing The Donkey Sanctuary was head of programmes, Alex Mayers, who gave a welcome address to the 300 delegates attending the conference from across Africa. 

Alex also gave a presentation on our campaign to halt the trade in donkey skins, which are used to make the traditional Chinese medicine, ejiao. The trade is threatening the livelihoods of many of the continent’s most vulnerable communities who rely on working donkeys.

Alex said: “Not only does the donkey skin trade cause significant animal welfare concerns, but we have also seen environmental issues such as water use, pollution and links to wildlife crime. The impact of the loss of donkeys can also be devastating for communities, including loss of access to markets, water, clinics and schools.”

Other organizations taking part in the conference include African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) and World Animal Protection (WAP). Regional Director for WAP, Tennyson Williams, said simply: “Development aspirations of Africa will not be realised if animals are not part of the equation.”

Alex Mayers concluded: “One Welfare brings together animals, people and the environment for common goals, and improving donkey welfare is best achieved when we all work together.”

The conference was organised by Africa Network for Animal Welfare and co-hosted by UN Environment and the Government of Kenya.