The booming demand for donkey skins fuelled by an obsession with a traditional Chinese medicine named ejiao, which too many people believe helps everything from impotence to cancer, is causing a global outcry. Not only does it have a devastating effect on donkey populations in Africa and rural communities whose livelihoods depend on them, it also causes cruelty on a level we have never seen before.
As their value escalates, donkey populations worldwide are currently being decimated, so much so that five African states have NO donkeys left, and the communities that depended on them are left without their lifeline.
This heartbreaking trade is already having devastating consequences with 1.8 million donkey skins traded for the ejiao market last year alone. Even worse, it is predicted that 5-10 million donkeys will be killed to fuel the trade every year, that’s almost one quarter of the present donkey population worldwide.
China is now looking to Australia as a new source of donkeys. The Northern Territory government is considering cashing in by farming donkeys to sell skins to China. They even considered send donkeys live to China to be slaughtered there. This must be stopped and it is down to our Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, to make the call. We need to let him know that Australia must not join and fuel this damaging trade. The Australian government should prohibit the export of feral donkeys from Australia whether live or dead. Turning feral animals into a commercial enterprise is foolish on so many levels and every effort is needed to explain the animal welfare problems to Chinese consumers and stop the demand.
TAKE ACTION and tell Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce to prohibit the export of donkeys for traditional medicine. Whether they are feral or farmed, donkeys must not be sentenced to a cruel and horrific death.