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