World Donkey Day honors the resilience of this humble animal. Gentle donkeys often face unspeakable brutality and it is imperative that we raise the awareness needed to improve their quality of life.
As “beasts of the burden,” donkeys have played a fundamental role in our society since as far back as 4000 BC – helping us labor in some of the most challenging terrains. It is difficult to reflect on what the modern world might look like had we been without the assistance of donkeys. Even so, these spirited and intelligent creatures do not receive the appreciation that they deserve.
Instead, donkeys are in crisis all around the world – suffering from abuse, neglect and, worst of all, slaughter at the hands of the horrific Chinese donkey skin trade. This insatiable industry wipes out hundreds of thousands of donkeys every year just so that their skins can be used for a cosmetic called ejiao (pronounced “uh-jee-ow”), which has no proven benefit whatsoever. The animals are bludgeoned to death and sometimes even skinned alive.
Network for Animals supports donkeys rescued from the donkey skin trade and from neglect and abuse in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Israel and Greece. Through the devoted generosity of our supporters, we have been able to help provide mistreated donkeys with much-needed food, medical treatment, shelter and love.
In February, we told our supporters about two baby donkeys in Israel who had been stolen from their mother, tied up and left without food and water in the scorching heat for hours on end. The foals were found and rescued by our partner, the Starting Over Sanctuary (SOS). The babies were in such appalling condition that they were barely alive. Luckily, SOS was able to rush them for emergency medical care just in time. This rescue would not have been possible without NFA.
With our partner, the Arusha Society for the Protection of Animals (ASPA), we also exposed a Chinese-run donkey slaughterhouse in a remote region of Tanzania, where horrific conditions saw hundreds, perhaps thousands, of donkeys beaten to death with hammers every week.
Apart from the cruelty, what many people do not realize is that in rural areas donkeys play a vital role in village life, fetching and carrying water and firewood. Kill the donkeys, and the women and children become the ‘donkeys’. These factors led to the government banning all donkey slaughter in Tanzania. Incredibly, the Chinese owners started operating illegally as soon as officials left the area, and it took court action to stop them.
There are so many donkeys mistreated, abandoned and suffering from excruciating pain as you read this. But you can play a critical role in helping us save another donkey life.
On this World Donkey Day, please show your support to the wellbeing of donkeys by donating to Network for Animals today.
P.S Did you know that a male donkey is called a Jack and a female donkey is called a Jenny? #WorldDonkeyDay2022