On World Donkey Day - why should we care about donkeys everyday?
They are companions, they are conservationists, they help to sustain livelihoods of 500 million people across the globe. Such intertwined existence and interdependence makes us responsible for preservation of their health and welfare.
Yet again, today on World Donkey Day together with The Donkey Sanctuary, we must remind how much policy makers are failing to deliver on this responsibility to protect donkeys, but also livelihoods of people dependent on them.
Donkey populations have been depleted with no end in sight as donkey skins continue to be used in the production of ejiao - a traditional medicine.
The global trade in donkey skins causes untold misery – to donkeys but also to the people who own, care and depend upon them for their livelihoods. The market for donkey skins in Asia drives a cruel and inhuman trade in donkeys for slaughter in some of the most impoverished places far away. The Donkey Sanctuary works to join the dots, making the consumers of gelatine products uncomfortably aware where the raw material comes fromJoe Collins, Chair of the Equines Working Group at Eurogroup for Animals
With the animals being sold, trafficked or stolen to be slaughtered, people dependent on them are deprived of basic resources. Donkey skin supply is not a local problem though but a global one with EU aid reaching low and middle income countries from where donkey skins are supplied to Asia, just to end up back on the EU market as beauty products, medicines or confiserie.
These cruel slaughter and trade must come to an end as they compromise animal health and welfare and livelihoods of people. By campaigning and forming global alliances at the UN level we can push together for a legislative change, while by supporting donkey-dependent communities we can help to protect their working donkeys on the ground.
Joe Collins added: “Donkey gelatine, which is used to make ejiao, could be grown artificially in laboratories, and hopefully in the future it will be – donkeys, as well as humans, deserve a sustainable future. Donkeys are a pathway out of poverty for so many people, we need them alive and in our lives not slaughtered to make a luxury, lifestyle product”.
Join us and The Donkey Sanctuary in the efforts to protect donkeys and people dependent on them on World Donkey Day and beyond!