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African Union approves donkey skin trade moratorium
“This is a truly momentous result for the welfare of donkeys in Africa” – Marianne Steele.
More than 30 million donkeys will be protected.

The African Union (AU) has agreed to stop the slaughter of donkeys for their skin across Africa.

A moratorium on the donkey skin trade was approved by heads of states at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday, 18 February.

Donkey skin is used to make ejiao, an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. At least 5.9 million donkey are slaughtered globally each year to make the medicine, according to recent research by The Donkey Sanctuary.

Owing to a decline in the donkey population in China, many of the donkeys slaughtered for the trade are from Africa and South America.

There are an estimated 33 million donkeys in Africa and the trade has had a large impact on people in poor communities where donkeys are still regularly used for transport and farming. Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal had already banned donkey exports to China.

The moratorium, which will apply to all AU member states, has been welcomed by the International Coalition for Working Equids, made up of The Donkey Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare, SPANA, and Brooke.

Marianne Steele, chief executive of The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “This is a truly momentous result for the welfare of donkeys in Africa. The decision to ban the slaughter of donkeys for the skin trade is enormous. Donkeys are sensitive and intelligent creatures who deserve protection for their own sakes, and for the countless communities who rely on them.

“This agreement from leaders of the African Union strikes at the heart of the brutal skin trade. It’s our hope that this decision will act as a catalyst for the rest of the world to act now, to not just save our donkey populations but to actively recognise their value and protect them properly.”

Brooke’s East Africa regional director Raphael Kinoti added: “This is a terrific moment for communities in Africa who have benefitted from donkeys since time immemorial. It is also a great moment for donkeys all over the world and for indigenous African biodiversity conservation.

“Donkey slaughter for its skin has had many negatives; from eroding livelihoods in Africa to robbing the continent of its culture, biodiversity and identity. We must all applaud AU heads of states for taking these bold and drastic measures for a good cause. We urge all AU members to uphold the decision for the good of all.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

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CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.