Jun 18, 2017
Demand in China for traditional medicine made from donkey skin is fuelling a growing illegal trade in donkeys worldwide. All over the developing world, rural farmers find their donkeys kidnapped or killed. Sometimes, they are persuaded to part with them for cash, only to realize later that they aren't able to replace them, because of the jump in prices. In Africa, this is particularly bad news, because donkeys are a key part of rural economies across the continent. Not only are donkeys important for getting around and to carry stuff, they help to plow fields, get kids to school, and they are frequently part of the family. Without donkeys many African economies grind to a halt. African governments know this, and many have banned the trade in donkeys. In this edition of the China in Africa Podcast, Eric and Cobus speak with Alex Mayers of the Donkey Sanctuary in the United Kingdom about this problem. He lays out how the situation has developed over the last few months, why donkeys can't be farmed to feed this demand, and how different African governments are coping with the issue. He also talks about how this trade could have possible negative health effects on Chinese users.