Thousands of donkey skins listed for sale online

The trade is estimated to involve the trafficking and slaughter of 4.8 million donkeys annually, according to the Donkey Sanctuary charity.

Luke O'Reilly
Monday 09 May 2022 00:01
The donkey’s skins are used in the production of ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy
The donkey’s skins are used in the production of ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy

Thousands of donkey skins have been listed for trade on ecommerce sites and social media.

The trade is estimated to involve the trafficking and slaughter of 4.8 million donkeys annually, according to The Donkey Sanctuary (TDS) charity.

The skins are used in the production of ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy.

In a new report into the illicit trade, TDS revealed that thousands of donkey skins are for sale online, including on social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

This new research demonstrates just how vast the online donkey skin trade has become, and how entrenched it is with criminal activity and other illegal wildlife trafficking

Marianne Steele

Dr Ewan Macdonald, postdoctoral research fellow at Said Business School and co-author of the report, said almost 20% of donkey skin traders operating online also sell other wildlife products, including elephant ivory, pangolin scales and big cat parts.

TDS has called for online retailers and social media platforms to ban the sale of donkey skins and to take down existing listings.

Marianne Steele, acting chief executive of TDS, said: “There is no doubt that the global ejiao trade is having a devastating impact on the welfare of donkeys around the world, who suffer at every point from source to slaughter.

“This new research demonstrates just how vast the online donkey skin trade has become, and how entrenched it is with criminal activity and other illegal wildlife trafficking.

“By cracking down on the sale of donkey skins on their platforms, ecommerce and social media sites will not only prevent considerable cruelty to donkeys, but also help eliminate the other criminal activity that is taking place alongside it and support thousands of families who rely on their donkeys to survive.”

Facebook and Twitter have been contacted for comment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in