Donkey skins listed on unregulated eCommerce sites and social media giants

A new report from The Donkey Sanctuary has uncovered the vast online illegal trading network sending millions of donkeys to their deaths.

The size and scale of the illegal online donkey skin trade has been revealed for the first time, with thousands of skins currently for sale on unregulated Business to Business (B2B) websites and well-known social media platforms.

These findings form part of our report titled The Global Trade in Donkey Skins: A Ticking Time Bomb . The report uncovers how organised crime facilitates the trafficking of donkey skins to satisfy the demand for ejiao, an ingredient used in traditional Chinese remedies.

Find out more about ejiao

The collagen from their skin is used in the production of ejiao. It is estimated that over 4.8 million donkeys are trafficked and slaughtered for their skins each year.

The donkeys suffer at every point of this process. From source to slaughter, brutal and inhumane conditions are a hallmark of the industry.

Even the most vulnerable donkeys, including pregnant mares, young foals, and the sick and injured, are taken and traded without consideration for their welfare or their suffering.

Marianne Steele, our Acting Chief Executive Officer, says: “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.”Our report cites the findings of a research paper funded by The Donkey Sanctuary and conducted by an interdisciplinary team from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU).Their research was able to identify a clear scientific link between the illegal wildlife trade and donkey skin trade.The researchers identified […]

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