Donkeys take centre stage as The Donkey Sanctuary is granted Non-Governmental Organisation status by the United Nations. This exciting news comes as the importance of working donkeys is brought to light in a recent UN Environment Programme report.

The NGO accreditation is evidence of The Donkey Sanctuary’s growing international reputation, and allows the organisation more opportunities to participate at a higher level on the world stage.

Ian Cawsey, director of advocacy at The Donkey Sanctuary says: “This is great news and places us right at the heart of the UN family. We have been working at the United Nations for around 18 months, and this status recognises our value, and that we have a voice that needs to be heard, so that donkeys and mules are not forgotten.”

“As a recognised NGO, we can participate in more influential meetings and events, with increased opportunities to make our case. We will also be consulted on issues that could affect the welfare of donkeys and mules.”

Ian concludes: “This is a great recognition and it is now for us to maximise this new status and to ensure even more people know about The Donkey Sanctuary and why donkeys and mules matter.”

The news comes at a time when donkeys are being brought to light amidst the UN's environmental concerns. In their latest report on land degradation and restoration, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) highlighted the importance of working donkeys to sustainability, all the while they are exploited for their skins.

The report further warns of a sixth mass species extinction.

The Donkey Sanctuary has spoken twice at the UN Environment HQ in Nairobi about the donkey skin trade and has been campaigning since 2016 to halt the inhumane and unsustainable trade in donkey skins.

Having been granted NGO status, The Donkey Sanctuary will be even better positioned to raise issues directly affecting donkeys and mules - and the human livelihoods implicated through their wellbeing - on a global stage.

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