“Slaughter of Africa’s Donkeys for China Hurts Poorest Farmers”
Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular with middle-class consumers that a Chinese producer has created a donkey exchange to help companies find enough hides to keep their factories busy.
Like the poaching of Africa’s rhinos and elephants, and deforestation caused by the largely illicit trade in rosewood timber, the slaughter of donkeys is an unforeseen consequence of rising Chinese incomes and an expanding middle class. While the global donkey population is estimated at 44 million, demand is currently thought to be at least 4 million per year, The Donkey Sanctuary said in a report this year.