Global animal chairty: Pakistan “illegally” exporting donkey skins to China

Donkey skin in China is used to make traditional medicine.

News | Donkeys face population collapse due to skin trade | The Donkey SanctuaryPakistan has been “illegally” exporting donkey skins to China despite the South Asian country’s official ban on the business.

This was revealed by the global equine advocacy group Brooke this week.

It is pertinent to note that there is substantial demand for donkey skins in China, where they are boiled to produce gelatin called ejiao (阿胶).

Pieces of donkey-skin gelatin (ejiao).

Ejiao, in traditional Chinese medicine, is believed to stop aging and boost libido.

A slab of donkey-skin gelatin (ejiao).

According to a Donkey Sanctuary report published in 2017, thousands of donkeys in developing countries are killed for their skins to be exported to China.

The African continent has become an epicenter of supplying donkey skins to China.

However, Megan Sheraton, the spokesperson of Brooke, remarks that the activity of exporting donkey skins to China is taking place in several places outside Africa, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Brazil.

It is pertinent to note that Pakistan had banned the export of donkey hides in 2015 to curb the sale of donkey meat in the form of beef and mutton in various local cities.

Read More: Pakistan’s donkey population surges by 100,000 in the fiscal year 2020-21.

According to Brooke’s estimate, the current demand for donkey hides, mainly for the purpose of ejiao, is estimated to be around 4.8 million annually.

Brooke warns that these estimates indicate that almost half of the world’s donkeys could be wiped out in the next five years.

According to Sheraton, there is no scientific evidence of the benefits of consuming to using ejiao. However, she says that the public is being misled.

A slab of donkey-skin gelatin (ejiao).

According to Chinese state-run media reports, the prices of ejiao have surged from around $30 in 2000 surged a kilogram to over $780 today.

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