Over 4.8 million donkeys are traded and slaughtered for their skins annually to meet growing demand for ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy found in the skins and believed by some to have medicinal properties.
Working with The Donkey Sanctuary, we launched ‘Stop the Slaughter. End the Donkey Skin Trade’, a global campaign exposing the devastating repercussions on donkey welfare and donkey-dependent communities and calling for the immediate halt of the donkey skin trade.
The donkey skin industry exposed
The campaign focused on two landmark investigative reports. The first in partnership with Saïd Business School and Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, uncovered how organised criminals exploit trade and shipping channels to aid the illicit donkey skin industry. The second identified previously unrecognised biosecurity threats to equines and humans because of the inhumane and unsanitary slaughter methods used and movement of hides.
We needed to secure mass awareness, but also target comms at stakeholders in territories where the import and export of donkey skins takes place, such as Tanzania, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. So, our findings were presented at the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources Pan-African Donkey Conference in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. And we used this important milestone to kick off the campaign and media outreach.
Action speaks louder than words
We connected key Tanzanian media with our spokespeople resulting in front-page coverage in leading title The Citizen. Outside of that, we achieved widespread success in all targeted territories, including National Geographic, The Telegraph (UK), The Nation (Thailand), Vietnam Economic News, Life in HK and The Nigerian Daily Post.
Plus, following the conference delegates drafted a Declaration, calling on the African Union Congress to propose a 15-year moratorium (ban) on the slaughter of donkeys for export of skins and other donkey related products.