Brown donkey standing with eyes closed and head down

A brutal trade

The donkey skin trade is causing millions of working animals to suffer unimaginable distress, pain and death. Every day countless donkeys are being slaughtered and the livelihoods of thousands of communities are being destroyed.

In many of the countries where SPANA works, donkey populations have already been decimated by this widespread trade in donkey skins. It is truly shocking that in some communities, where over a third of donkeys have already been slaughtered, donkey populations are so endangered that they could become extinct within a decade.

This crisis is all due to the mass production of an expensive product called ejiao, made from boiling down donkey skins. In this report, you can read how African donkeys are being targeted in their millions for this ruthless and barbaric trade, with their skins exported for ejiao production.

Donkey being pushed onto the back of a truck by poachers

Stolen and starved

Snatched from her home, Anokosha was roughly loaded onto a cramped and dangerous vehicle before being transported to an abattoir. Once Anokosha reached the abattoir, she faced even more pain and suffering. Dehydrated and hurt, Anokosha was in urgent need of veterinary care. Instead, she was denied any food or water at all and left to starve because it’s easier to remove the skin from a thin donkey.

You might expect to see donkeys scrambling for freedom if you were to visit one of these abattoirs. Instead, there’s just a deadly silence. When they are very depressed, donkeys appear quiet and lifeless, with their ears and eyes down. It’s a heartbreaking sight.

On this occasion, the abattoir was closed down and Anokosha was saved from slaughter. But, unfortunately, she is an exception – once captured, there are few survivors of the donkey skin trade.

Together, we can change the future for vulnerable working donkeys like Anokosha. With your help, we can provide veterinary care for donkeys at risk of the skin trade, whilst educating children and empowering thousands of animal owners to defend their donkeys against theft. With your support we can work with governments, community leaders and animal welfare partners to call for an end to this abhorrent trade.

You can watch this video to see how your donation could help us achieve more and act faster to protect current and future generations of donkeys from unimaginable suffering and potential extinction.

Please, if you can, send a kind gift today to help stop donkeys suffering abhorrent cruelty from the donkey skin trade and give donkeys a better life.



Please be assured that even if we don’t reach our appeal target of £158,444, then any funds raised will still be used to help us treat and protect donkeys at risk of the brutal skin trade. If the generosity of supporters means we exceed our target, then any additional funds will go wherever the need is greatest.

To speak to our friendly supporter care team please visit our contact us page and get in touch.