International equine welfare charity Brooke has shared significant progress in the battle against the donkey skin trade.

Government ministers from a number of African countries, including Chad, Senegal and Tanzania, have signed a declaration urging the African Union Commission to install a continental ban on the donkey skin trade for at least the next 15 years.

The Dar es Salaam declaration was signed during the Pan African Donkey Skin Conference in Tanzania. Organised by AU-IBAR, in partnership with organisations including Brooke, government ministers came together to learn about the devastating impact of the donkey skin trade on animals and communities across Africa.

Within the resolution, signatories highlighted the alarming decline of the donkey population within Africa and called for greater investment in research, policies and legislation to protect the species from further harm.

Dr Raphael Kinoti, Brooke East Africa. Credit: KELO

“This is a significant moment for donkeys and communities in Africa,” said Dr Raphael Kinoti, Regional Director of Brooke East Africa. “For many years, Brooke has been working to elevate the status of working equids across the continent, and this declaration is a vital step in the right direction. Donkeys are crucial to the livelihoods of millions of people; we must protect them.”

Over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of donkeys have been slaughtered for their skins, due to an increase in the popularity of ejiao, a traditional Chinese medicine made from the boiling down of donkey skins for their gelatin content.

“The skin trade has major impacts on both the welfare of animals and the livelihoods of donkey owners,” said a Brooke spokesman. “Brooke will continue to provide a voice for donkeys and push for their inclusion in government policy.”

Lead image of donkeys transporting water in Kenya. Credit Alex McBride

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