We are striving to prevent donkeys suffering as the global demand for their meat, milk and skins rapidly grows.
In recent years, the demand for diverse products of donkey origin, including meat, milk and skins, has escalated rapidly and we are striving to prevent donkeys suffering in the process by working in partnership with key players in government, industry and the veterinary community to promote the highest international standards of donkey welfare.
The demand for donkey skins in particular, to produce Ejiao - a traditional Chinese medicine made from donkey-derived gelatin, has generated a significant trade across the globe and we believe current practices are unsustainable and causing mass-scale suffering.
Activities to procure donkey skins are largely unregulated and through our animal welfare partnerships, we have seen evidence of welfare issues for donkeys at every step, from sourcing to transport and finally to slaughter. The donkeys are frequently sourced from donkey-dependent communities, particularly in Africa and South America, and the trade has impacted on their livelihoods and even economic stability.
But there is also a move towards donkey farming at scale, with a strong focus in China. Again, this industry to produce meat, milk and skins is largely unregulated and with likely growing welfare concerns.
Our interests are to ensure that the welfare of donkeys is seen as paramount in all donkey farming and associated industries and our expertise can make a difference to the care and welfare of the donkeys involved.