Breaking! More Than 100 Injured Donkeys Rescued From Slaughter For The Skin Trade In South Africa

Over 100 donkeys were recently rescued from being slaughtered for the barbaric skin trade by the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA), with assistance from the Mooi River SPCA.

As per a statement by The Donkey Sanctuary, which supports and works with the NSPCA to help end the cruel and unnecessary global skin trade, the rescued donkeys, including several young foals, were en route from South Africa to neighboring Lesotho; a country where there has been an escalation in the illegal skin trade for the production of ejiao.

“The incident appears to signal a shocking return of the donkey skin trade after almost 18 months of apparent inactivity,” said Marcelle Meredith, Executive Director of the NSPCA, further explaining that the organization has been investigating the donkey skin trade for more than five years. “The manner in which donkey skins are obtained is gut-wrenching, starting from the way the animals are handled, transported, butchered, and sometimes even skinned alive.”

Sadly, the rescued donkeys were suffering from severe infections and open wounds, and some even had ears missing. Many of the animals were extremely thin, with ribs showing through their hides. They were also infested with ticks.

Approximately 36 mothers and young foals were despatched to the Kloof and Highway SPCA facility near Durban. The remaining donkeys traveled to the Johannesburg SPCA, where they will continue to be cared for until they can be rehomed.

The Donkey Sanctuary was able to support the NSPCA with funding for the cost of their transportation.

Officers from the South African Police Service (SAPS) arrested six suspects traveling with the donkeys for having no passports of their own or legal travel permits for the animals. The six culprits have since been charged and found guilty of animal cruelty and illegally residing in South Africa.

“We are so grateful for the support of The Donkey Sanctuary. The charity’s generosity means we can now focus our efforts and funding appeals on the long-term welfare, veterinary needs and rehoming of these donkeys, which have suffered terrible neglect and abuse at the hands of brutal animal traders,” stated Grace de Lange, Senior Inspector from NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit. “Other countries in the region, such as Botswana, Ethiopia, and Senegal, have taken action, and we are calling for immediate government intervention to stop the export from South Africa of donkeys, as well as their skins or by-products for any trade whatsoever.”

If you would like to help rescue more donkeys from the sickening skin trade, please consider making a donation to The Donkey Sanctuary, HERE!

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