Victims of the donkey skins trade wait masses together in an encosure

Helpless donkeys are being stolen and brutally slaughtered

Brown donkey standing with eyes closed and head down

A brutal trade

Helpless donkeys are being stolen and brutally slaughtered because of the horrific donkey skins trade, which is causing millions of animals unimaginable misery, pain and distress.

Anokosha is a working donkey from Zimbabwe. Like so many of these extraordinary animals, Anokosha has spent her life transporting heavy goods over difficult terrain for her owner’s family. Working long hours, with little rest – it’s not hard to imagine how tough her life would have been. Due to this appalling trade, life for this hardworking donkey became even bleaker.

In southern Africa, where the trade is having a catastrophic impact, working donkeys like Anokosha aren’t kept in enclosures or stables. Instead, Anokosha used to enjoy roaming free in the fields near her owner’s home – but this made her an easy target for poachers. One night, poachers stole Anokosha from her home, with the sole purpose of selling her for her skin.

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 destined for 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 down. It’s a heartbreaking sight.

On this occasion, the abattoir was closed down and Anokosha was saved from slaughter. But unfortunately, she is the exception – the vast majority of donkeys stolen for their skin are not saved.

Together, we can change the future for vulnerable working donkeys like Anokosha. SPANA is working hard to protect donkeys from poachers and provide urgent veterinary treatment for those that have been rescued from this horrific trade. But we can’t do this without your support.

Please, if you can, send a kind gift today to help donkeys like Anokosha get the veterinary care and treatment they need and to safeguard the futures of these hardworking animals.

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