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Moratorium on donkey skin trade endorsed by African Union
The Donkey Sanctuary says hundreds of thousands of donkeys have been slaughtered for their skin.
The proposal has been welcomed by ICWE.

The African Union has endorsed a proposed moratorium on the donkey skin trade, which could see a suspension of the practice in February 2024.

The report, titled ‘Donkeys in Africa Now and In The Future’, was produced by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources, and highlights the impact of the donkey skin trade on the population of donkeys in the continent.

The proposal was produced with support from the International Coalition for Working Equids (ICWE), which includes Brooke, The Donkey Sanctuary, SPANA and World Horse Welfare.

The Donkey Sanctuary says that hundreds of thousands of donkeys have been slaughtered for their skin and exported in the past decade. This is driven by the demand in China for their skin for use in traditional Chinese medicine.

The report was approved at the 5th Ordinary Session of the Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment, which consists of ministers and relevant senior officials from member states.

The recommendations will now be proposed to the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments, and could be adopted in February 2024.

Dr Otieno Mtula, regional campaigns and advocacy manager (Africa) for The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “The adoption of this report at the special technical committee session of the African Union last week is a critical and significant milestone on the way to protecting Africa’s donkey populations and the communities that rely on them.

“That it will be considered by the Executive Council of the African Union in February next year is testament not just to the urgency of the issue, but also the collaborative efforts of all those who have worked tirelessly to bring it to the fore.”

Dr Raphael Kinoti, regional director of Brooke East Africa, said: “This is so important for communities in Africa and their donkeys which suffer untold cruelty driven by this insatiable demand for their skins.

“We are delighted that the Committee recognised the socio-economic contribution of the donkey to livelihoods in Africa and hope every African country will respect this decision and stop this trade to preserve this critical natural heritage and the livelihoods that it supports.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.