Brooke USA Joins Brooke in Celebrating Advocacy Win

~ African Union Bans the Devastation Donkey Hide Trade ~

The African Union, an intergovernmental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent, has opted to ban the donkey hide trade after years of tireless lobbying by Brooke USA’s sister organization Brooke: Action for Working Horses & Donkeys (Brooke). This signals an end to the legal slaughter of hundreds of thousands of donkeys across Africa.

Ejiao has obliterated China’s own donkey population, leading to huge export industries elsewhere – namely Africa and Central and South America. In fact, over the last decade, Africa has seen its donkey population decimated due to the Chinese demand for Ejiao.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that the cruel practice of  harvesting donkey hides for the manufacture of Ejiao [a gelatin-like product used in Traditional Chinese Medicine with claims of increased fertility, improved potency, and enhanced circulation] has been banned. We congratulate our Brooke family – Brooke UK, Brooke East Africa, Brooke Ethiopia, and Brooke West Africa – for their tireless efforts to secure the ban. Certainly, a win for the donkeys!,” noted Emily Dulin, CEO of Brooke USA Foundation. “Rarely do events as seismic as the ban announced by the African Union take place which, makes this all the more special,” said Chris Wainwright, CEO of Brooke.

On February 17 and 18, African Union Heads of State met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly to ratify several motions including the ban, which was proposed by the Specialized Technical Committee for Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment in November last year. The proposal cited a report, Donkeys in Africa Now and In The Future, produced by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) with support from Brooke. This report highlighted the alarming decline of the donkey population within Africa and the devastating impact on livelihoods of those who depend on working donkeys to survive.

Brooke has played a vital role in pushing for this ban, thanks to tireless lobbying of government ministers and strong work in mobilizing equine owning populations. Brooke brought communities together, amplified their voices, met with government officials, compiled reports, and built coalitions across countries and all over Africa. In November last year, Brooke was Secretariat of the Pan African Donkey Conference in Tanzania, where ministers signed the historic Dar es Salaam Declaration, which jumpstarted Union discussions to ban the donkey hide trade.

“While these are all positive steps in the right direction, we need to be prepared that underground slaughterhouses will rise, and the trade is likely to expand across Central and South America,” added Dulin.

Looking ahead, Brooke will continue work with governments and policy makers to advocate for the enforcement of the ban and call for a global ban to protect donkeys around the world from this horrifying trade. Brooke USA is doing its part by advocating for the passing of the Ejiao Act (H.R. 6021) which prohibits the importation and sale of Ejiao in the United States, the third largest global importer of this product. Those with a passion for animal welfare are urged to write to their legislators and demand that they support the Ejiao Act. Visit to address members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

About Brooke USA Foundation (Brooke USA): The mission of Brooke USA is to significantly improve the health, welfare, and productivity of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them for survival worldwide. We are committed to sustainable economic development by reducing poverty, increasing food security, ensuring access to water, providing a means to education, and raising basic standards of living through improved equine health and welfare. We accomplish this by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need.

Brooke USA strives to alleviate the suffering and vulnerability of developing communities by funding and implementing programs that improve the quality of life and health of working equines and thereby positively impacting their economic sustainability, protecting the planet, ensuring gender equality, and guaranteeing life on land resilience. We want to see healthy, happy people and equines that work in partnership to achieve sustainable local economies.

For more information, contact:
Emily J. Dulin

Kendall Bierer