According to a newreport released byThe Donkey Sanctuary, donkeys are currently in a state of global crisis as traders are exporting their skins to make gelatin for ejiao, a traditional Chinese medicine.
The update found that local donkey populations have plummeted in a number of countries as the increase in demand for ejiao has resulted in an unsustainable number of donkeys being slaughtered.
“Never before have donkeys faced this level of threat, as their local populations in some countries collapse due to relentless demand for their skins. It is a crisis that demands immediate action and we are calling for an urgent halt to the global trade in donkey skins,” Mike Baker, CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary noted in a letter accompanying the report.
China alone requires an estimated4.8 million hides per-year for ejiaoproduction to meet the demand; prompting traders, mainly in Africa, Asia, and South America, to export more skins to China.
As per the report, donkey populations in China have collapsed by 76% since 1992. Since 2007, donkey populations have declined by 28% in Brazil, by 37% in Botswana, and by 53% in Kyrgyzstan.
“These dependable, hardworking, sentient animals experience appalling suffering as a result of the activities of skin traders across the world,” continued Baker. “They are often transported long distances, without food, water, or rest, and they can be held for days in yards without shelter, before being slaughtered in often brutal conditions.”
An estimated 20% of donkeys, many of which are illegally stolen and transported, die on the way to the slaughterhouse.
The donkeys that survive the transport most-likely then fall victim to the hands of inexperienced handlers who use cruel and inhumane methods to control the animals, such as kicking, hitting, and dragging.
The Donkey Sanctuary is calling for the ejiao industry to cut ties with the global skin trade and move towards more “sustainable sources of raw materials provided by cellular agriculture.”
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate. #GoVeg