Showing posts with label Conservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conservation. Show all posts

Monday, May 9, 2022

Sale of donkey skins linked to trade in illegal wildlife products

A working donkey pulling a farmer's cart
Credit: Katja/Pixabay

Newly published research raises important concerns about whether the trade in donkey skins is being used as a cover for smuggling elephant tusks, pangolin scales and other illegal wildlife products.

Research published in Conservation Science and Practice has revealed novel links between the global trade in donkey skins and the wildlife trade. The study by an interdisciplinary team from the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and supported by The Donkey Sanctuary suggests that these trades operate in parallel, creating new avenues and transportation pathways for wildlife trade.

The trade of donkey skins is largely driven by demand for E-Jiao, a traditional Chinese medicine, which uses gelatin from donkey skins. As increasing demand has outstripped the Chinese domestic supply of donkeys, E-Jiao producers have looked to international markets for skins.

Using network analysis of online markets, the research team examined seven large international b2b eCommerce platforms, which all hosted vendors selling donkey skins. Nearly one-fifth of the vendors selling donkey skins also offered some other form of wildlife product – in some cases even species protected by CITES, the international treaty on the trade of endangered species.

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