Tanzania bans slaughter of donkeys and may affect others Africans region.
Cawsey hopes that other African countries, including South Africa, Botswana and Egypt, which allow the trade to continue, will reconsider their support for donkey slaughter and take similar steps to protect their national donkey populations.
The purpose of this measure is to prevent the risk of extinction of the animal.
In a budget speech to Parliament, Mashimba Mashauri Ndakithe, Tanzania’s livestock minister said the rate at which donkeys are slaughtered poses a threat to their long-term existence.
He advised investors in the donkey trade to turn to other farm animals and give the donkeys a new life.
The current donkey population in Tanzania is estimated at 650,000. The ban has been hailed by animal rights groups, who see it as a rare victory in the campaign against risks to animals’ lives.
“It’s not often that we have good news to share about the donkey skin trade, but it’s a major victory,” said Ian Cawsey, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at Donkey Sanctuary.
Tanzania’s rejection of donkey slaughter adds a powerful voice to the growing number of countries that declare that their donkeys are not destined for slaughter.
This means that a country’s 650,000 donkeys, who support millions of other people, will no longer be at risk of being slaughtered for their skin.
“Since 2016, The Donkey Sanctuary has been working with partner organisations in Tanzania, East Africa, to help communities protect their donkeys from theft for trade and also to expose the truly horrific animal welfare issues surrounding their slaughter – some of the worst cases we have ever seen,” he said.
Tanzania’s stance against this trade reflects measures taken by Kenya, Nigeria and a number of West African countries to ban the slaughter of donkeys for their skin.
Nigeria has gone so far as to declare its donkeys as endangered due to their slaughter.
A Donkey Sanctuary report published in May 2022 highlighted growing evidence of criminal involvement in the donkey skin trade, with online traders selling donkey skins alongside wildlife items such as ivory, rhino horn and drugs.