Innocent Lives

The Donkey Sanctuary

The donkey skin trade presents a global threat to donkeys. Its brutal nature and the impact on communities that rely on donkeys is relatively unreported. The film Innocent Lives was created as part of an integrated campaign to bring that story to light. The campaign is part of a wider strategy to halt and, in time, eradicate the donkey skin trade.

The nature of the trade - its brutality and impact – makes any film about it literally ‘difficult to watch’. The key challenge was to move, not lose, audiences and inspire them to find out more. The vital choices in style, narrative and tone in the film ensured that this balance was achieved with success way beyond predicted outcomes, taking millions of people on a journey toward better understanding the plight of donkeys. In December 2022, as a direct result of campaigning and advocacy efforts, Tanzania hosted the first ever pan-African Donkey Conference. The Donkey Sanctuary is now working closely with the African Union and other NGOs to develop an Africa Donkey Strategy, including a 15-year ban on donkey slaughter across all member states, to be endorsed at the African Union Summit in February 2024.