The country of Pakistan possesses the third largest population of donkeys in the world. However, it is set to begin exporting such number to China in exchange for much needed foreign income during the ongoing period of rough financial pressure Pakistan is facing.
Across the world, the animal is kept specifically for labour work, the most common roles being: the transportation of materials and people, cart pulling and towing. A lot of families in developing and poor countries rely on donkeys for their livelihood but traditionally in China, donkeys have always been in huge demand, especially for their hide.
The recent news has come during a time when Pakistan has been battling the foreign exchange crunch, and its favourite ally China has come to its rescue, with a total loan of 42.5 billion in exchange of donkey export.
With a donkey population of 5 million, Pakistan is expected to cash in millions and help boost its economic state form this trade, while exporting as many as 80,000 donkeys in the first three years.
As reported by the livestock department of Pakistan, the country will begin donkey farming, the first of its kind the world has seen, as government workers Dera Ismail Khan and Mansehra will forge a global partnership.
Medicinal Properties of Donkeys:
Donkeys are highly prized in China, especially for their hide, which is used to manufacture Chinese medicine.
Gelatin form donkey hide, also known as ass-hide glue is very valuable, as it is obtained from the skin of the donkey by the method ofsoaking and stewing. It is used as an ingredient in Chinese traditional medicine, where it is called “Ejiao“.
Ejiao has manifold traditional uses in China. It is used in a variety of conditions such as bleeding from a wound, dizziness, insomnia and dry cough. It is believed that the medicine helps to improve blood circulation and improve the condition of those suffering from anaemia.
Ejiao takes the form of a hard gel that can be dissolved in hot water or alcohol to be used in food or drink, as well as beauty products.
Ejiao demand in China
Pakistan is already prepared to export the animal to China, where the population of donkeys is already the highest in the world. With the increase in demand for Ejiao dramatically in the last few years, the donkey population has hence begun to fall in China.
Traders from China were transporting the animal for their skin from other countries including Africa, mostly illegally and selling them in the black market. This caught the attention of the “Donkey Sanctuary”, which is an international animal welfare and rescue charity and it came forward to contain the heinous act.
To stop illegal trafficking and to keep the foreign exchange moving in its ally’s home, China has invested a huge sum of money in Pakistan for Donkey farming, where according to reports, foreign reserves dropped drastically and caused the country to reach out to nations like Saudi Arabia and China for support.