The callous cruelty that donkeys suffer in Africa is dreadful. Every day, we struggle to save as many as we can from the horrific Chinese donkey-skin trade and from brutal abuse by owners. Meisie is one poor victim. Meisie’s rural owner used her to protect his flocks from jackal and caracal predators. One day, he left her without food or water and never went back.
We received a phone call saying a donkey was dying in South Africa’s Cederberg mountains. When we rushed to investigate, we couldn't believe the state of this poor girl when we rescued her - she had been so badly neglected that her hooves had developed ‘slipper foot,’ a condition where hooves grow wrongly and cripple the donkey. Meisie could still stand, but she couldn’t walk. Imagine being abandoned with no food or water AND being unable to walk.
It's a miracle Meisie survived, but she is still gravely ill.
Even with intensive care, it took Meisie three weeks to learn to walk again. She also had a severely compromised immune system, and developed 'strangles,' a potentially fatal respiratory disease.
She has been in intensive care for two months and we are still fighting to get her the best medical care to ensure a full recovery.
What is certain is that Meisie would have died without the support animal lovers like you give to Network for Animals. Today, she is safe and being cared for at the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary.
But the donkeys are in URGENT need of food…
It's summer in South Africa and there has been no rain in the area where the sanctuary is situated - which means no grazing for our beloved donkeys. Plus, the food suppliers are almost certainly being forced to close AGAIN.
We have to rush hay to the donkeys to tide them over…and of course, South Africa is in the middle of a raging CORONA epidemic. Please, we need to urgently raise $6,690 (£5,000). Will you help us today?
The problem is exacerbated by the continuing Chinese demand for donkey skins. We have been working to save donkeys from the disgusting Chinese donkey skin trade for four years. We support 256 rescued donkeys at the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary in South Africa, and another 46 at the MARES donkey sanctuary in Zimbabwe.
The worldwide donkey skin crisis continues to devastate donkey populations globally. Donkeys are being abused, stolen and slaughtered as the demand for their skin increases to make ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy believed to be a cure-all. It is the first time in history that donkeys are confronted with this unprecedented threat.
The Chinese demand for donkey skins is WIPING THEM OUT!
According to Under the Skin, a 2019 report by The Donkey Sanctuary, it is estimated that the ejiao industry currently wants 4.8 million donkey skins annually. With China's donkey herd reduced from 11 million in 1992 to just 2.6 million now, the Chinese industry is killing donkeys around the world and shipping their hides to China. This has placed unprecedented pressure on donkey populations globally and is wiping donkeys out in some countries.
This shocking industry is having a disastrous effect on donkey welfare. In Africa, many donkeys experience horrendous suffering before they are brutally killed. In South Africa, donkeys are often bought cheaply from simple rural people who do not understand their true worth. The donkeys are then brutally slaughtered in the bush.
If the trade is legal, donkeys are often transported in overcrowded trucks for many days without food or water, some suffering from painful injuries. Then they are held at a slaughterhouse, sometimes for days, with no food or water. According to the report, the death of a donkey because of injury, disease, thirst, starvation, or stress, is often viewed favourably as slaughter fees are avoided and the skin is still processed.
Sourcing of the donkeys is indiscriminate - often pregnant mares and young foals are butchered. No donkey is safe from this evil web of destruction.
Our team has been working tirelessly to improve this dreadful situation - and we are pledged to continue for as long as it takes. We desperately need your help to keep donkeys safe (even those we support at the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary - who are in urgent need of food) from the rapacious traders who hover in the background waiting to seize any poor donkey we can’t support. Please, donate as generously as you are able today so that donkeys too can have a happy holiday.
For the animals,
Brian and Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
Network for Animals
P.S. Your donation will help Meisie and all the donkeys at the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary have food. And, please spare a thought for the donkeys we try to save from the Chinese - they desperately need your help.. Please donate today so we can continue our crusade, keeping donkeys away from the cruel Chinese skin traders – and improving the lives of so many other animals around the world.