Target: Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa
Goal: Crack down on the poaching of wild donkeys before the issue reaches a crisis level.
The latest victim of the multi-million dollar poaching industry, the donkey, is facing serious trouble in many parts of the world. In China, the population has halved within a span of only 13 years, with a population of 11 million in 1990 dropping to six million in 2013. Due to this sharp decrease in population, China is now looking to other parts of the world for its supply. The animals are now also being poached in Africa, with South Africa, Botswana, and Kenya also facing a steep decline in populations.
Donkeys are poached for their skin, which is used to make gelatin that is commonly sold in Asia. The gelatin is said to have medicinal properties to help those suffering from anemia and symptoms of menopause. The gelatin is dissolved in tea or coffee or can be mixed with seeds and nuts for a snack. Donkey meat is also popular in China, and is often said to be better tasting and more nutritious than beef.
Massive shipments of donkey hides and even live animals are now coming out of Africa. While some of these sales are legitimate, many are suspected to be the product of illegal poaching. Over 5,000 pelts were recently seized by police in Johannesburg, the biggest shipment found to date. Police say that the animals were killed in a brutal manner, with many of the hides showing evidence of multiple stab wounds and bludgeoning.
Villagers and farmers that rely on the animals for sustenance are reporting their animals being stolen. Kabelo Nkoane of the Highveld Horsecare Unit in South Africa claims that if nothing is done, donkeys could face a poaching crisis similar to that of rhinos or elephants. Sign the petition below to demand that South Africa crack down on the illegal poaching of donkeys in order to save them from extinction.
Dear Mr. Zokwana,
The poaching of wild donkeys in China has caused a massive decline in population. Now, Chinese importers are looking to other parts of the world to fill demand, including South Africa and other African nations.
Without intervention, donkeys in South Africa could soon face a poaching crisis similar to that faced by rhinos or elephants. We, the undersigned, ask that you come up with ways to enforce the protection of these animals before it’s too late.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Moffi12