Under the Skin: How ejiao threatens the common ass

By Merritt Clifton editor of Animals 24-7

“…donkeys fall into a unique and difficult niche:  that of a species formerly kept almost exclusively in poorer parts of the world as a work animal…”

Click Image to Download Report

Click Image to Download Report

BEIJING––Can demand for a commodity that constitutes only one ten-thousandth of the global market for traditional Chinese medicine really pose what Donkey Rescue World blogger David C. Duncan calls “an existential threat” to barnyard animals as abundant worldwide as donkeys?

This is not about highly endangered tigers,  rhinos,  elephants,  or even pangolins,  all eight species of which were once listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as “species of least concern,”  but since July 2014 are all considered “vulnerable” or “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

This is about the common ass,  domestic animals who until recently were the tenth most abundant species in captivity,  according to United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization data.

Only chickens,  turkeys,  cattle,  pigs,  sheep,  goats,  horses,  dogs and cats (the latter not tracked by the FAO) were believed to be more numerous.

But donkeys fall into a unique and difficult niche:  that of a species formerly kept almost exclusively in poorer parts of the world as a work animal,  abruptly replaced in most uses by motor vehicles,  no longer highly valued for labor,  and therefore suddenly more valuable for hides than alive.

Further,  the demand for the gelatinous substance derived from donkey hides,  ejiao,  comes almost entirely from China,  whose population of 1.4 billion people is so large that even consumption of trivial amounts of ejiao by one person in 10,000 can require the slaughter of millions of donkeys per year.

No wild animal species––indeed,  no animal product,  period––is actually widely used in traditional Chinese medicine,  which is based overwhelmingly on floral and herbal compounds….(CONTINUED)

Read More:  http://www.animals24-7.org/2017/02/26/under-the-skin-how-ejiao-threatens-the-common-ass/

Download Report: https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/under-the-skin/full-report

3 replies »

  1. It is really hard for people to wrap their heads around the sheer volumn in numbers of this devastating trade. Over the past year and a half I have watched the stories trickle in about donkeys being slaughtered all over the world. There have been more frequent stories of late about stolen donkeys being found by their owners dead and skinned. The horror of finding their loyal companions killed in such horrific ways is compounded by the realization that the cost of replacing their donkey is now out of their reach. For families who rely on donkeys to survive, the blow is a one two punch that most often affects women in poor societies. In other words, the crisis is two fold. The world’s population of donkeys is being decimated creating a humanitarian crisis at the same time.
    There is hope. Knowledge is the key. We must convince all governments where donkeys exist to resist the Chinese agents who approach them for access to their countries donkeys. Having an overview of donkey populations around the world, although inaccurate, allows for a monitoring of the impact of this trade on each country. Countries are now banning the trade due to the horrific impact to their country’s citizens. They can no longer replace lost donkeys because of their rarity. India has now declared donkeys endangered and so has Niger. Protecting donkeys must be a priority moving forward. Also, in China there is a rising awareness of animal welfare conditions by animal activists. We must continue to support their voices and appeal to the Chinese government to stop heavily advertising ejiao as a miracle cure. The state run media has been promoting ejiao for a decade which has spurred the demand. A push from trading partners to stop the advertising will be helped by writing to those governments to demand China stop pushing ejiao.
    We need to continue to get the word out. Taking for granted that donkeys will always be here is not acceptable. The crisis is real and the devastation undeniable. At the current rate of slaughter, it is not hyperbole to state that donkeys will be as endangered as the rhino in four years. I am not prepared to accept that fate for the nobel yet humble donkey. ~ Marjorie Farabee


  2. Earth is on brink of a sixth mass extinction, scientists say, and it’s humans’ fault

    In a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances, biologists found that the Earth is losing mammal species 20 to 100 times the rate of the past. Extinctions are happening so fast, they could rival the event that killed the dinosaurs in as little as 250 years. Given the timing, the unprecedented speed of the losses and decades of research on the effects of pollution, hunting and habitat loss, they assert that human activity is responsible

    “The smoking gun in these extinctions is very obvious, and it’s in our hands,” co-author Todd Palmer, a biologist at the University of Florida, wrote in an e-mail to The Washington Post.


  3. Reader comment

    The National Council of SPCAs has pleasure in confirming that the Gumtree classified ad website’s Head of Communications, PR and Media, has advised: –

    “Gumtree has decided to ban the sale of all donkeys and mules on the site, not just the hides and byproducts. We hope that this will play a small part in reducing animal cruelty.”

    This is a significant step towards our ultimate aim of having no live animals traded online. Gumtree is applauded and this undertaking is appreciated. It is a meaningful step in the prevention of cruelty to animals and the protection of them by removing a specific market or forum for those who trade in them or their parts.

    The NSPCA has motivated why advertising animals for sale (or “free to a good home”) is unethical. It gives a forum to dubious practices including backyard breeding, trading in wildlife and exotic animals as well as having no welfare component when advertisements are placed. Online advertising effectively treats animals as commodities: – which they are not.

    “The donkey skin issue has brought the matter to the fore,” explained Christine Kuch of the NSPCA. “It is a major step forward that Gumtree has taken and for this we support and thank them. They have taken the lead on this issue and deserve credit for recognizing the implications and effect of Internet advertising of this kind.

    We call upon other web sites to follow this worthy lead and to widen this to include all animals.


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