The Ejiao Trade

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Wildlife

The Ejiao Trade

22 June 2019
News
Donkeys are naturally silent carriers of a range of diseases that could be transported around the world, but this hasn't curtailed the international ejiao trade. Instead, the global donkey population is now at risk.

Donkeys are routinely being slaughtered in huge numbers worldwide to meet the increasing demand for their skins, which are used to produce the Chinese remedy ejiao. This gelatin product is used to treat a variety of conditions including bleeding, dizziness, insomnia and a dry cough.

Traders have been targeting donkey-dependent communities in Africa for the last five years to meet Chinese demand, but available supply is dwindling. In Africa, infectious disease has plagued the equine population, with reports of thousands of donkey fatalities occurring already this year. These deaths have further depleted populations already suffering the cost of indiscriminate, and often illegal, slaughter for their skins.