Next Article in Journal
Individuals with Psychopathic Traits and Poor Attitudes towards Animals Can Recognise Infant Features But Give Them Reduced Attentional Priority
Previous Article in Journal
Use of Probiotics in Intravaginal Sponges in Sheep: A Pilot Study
Open AccessArticle

The Potential for New Donkey Farming Systems to Supply the Growing Demand for Hides

School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AR, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(4), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040718
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 24 March 2020 / Accepted: 9 April 2020 / Published: 20 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
The demand for donkey hides for gelatin used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, called ejiao, has increased greatly over recent years, resulting in high and rapidly increasing prices. This has put pressure on donkey populations globally and led to theft and illegal trade in donkeys, resulting in concerns for donkey welfare and the livelihoods of those who rely on donkeys. New donkey farming systems have been set up in China in response. We model how quickly these systems may be able to meet the demand for donkey hides. Results show that it will take at least 10–15 years or more for new donkey farming systems to be able to supply the demand for hides. This means that prices of donkeys and donkey hides will continue to increase with continued thefts and illegal trade. This will have further negative impacts on donkey welfare and on the livelihoods of those who rely on donkeys. Chinese ejiao producers will continue to try to source donkey hides from around the world, putting even greater pressure on donkey populations globally.
The demand for donkey hides for ejiao, a Traditional Chinese Medicine, has resulted in rapidly increasing prices for donkey hides and donkeys. This has put pressure on donkey populations globally and has implications for donkey welfare and the livelihoods of those who rely on donkeys as working animals. The aim of the research was to explore the feasibility of setting up new donkey farming systems to supply the rising demand for ejiao using a system dynamics model of donkey production. Results show that the size of the initial female breeding herd, reproductive performance, age of reproduction, percentage of female births and average breeding life of donkeys are key variables affecting the time to build up the donkey population to supply the demand for hides, which will be at least ten to fifteen years. The implications of this are: (i) prices for donkey hides will continue to increase, (ii) companies producing ejiao will use other ingredients, (iii) China will continue to source donkey hides from around the world, and (iv) there will be continued theft and illegal trade of donkeys and concerns for rural households reliant on donkeys for their livelihoods and adverse impacts on donkey welfare. View Full-Text
Keywords: ejiao; donkey hides; donkey populations; systems modelling ejiao; donkey hides; donkey populations; systems modelling
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Bennett, R.; Pfuderer, S. The Potential for New Donkey Farming Systems to Supply the Growing Demand for Hides. Animals 2020, 10, 718. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040718

AMA Style

Bennett R, Pfuderer S. The Potential for New Donkey Farming Systems to Supply the Growing Demand for Hides. Animals. 2020; 10(4):718. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040718

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bennett, Richard; Pfuderer, Simone. 2020. "The Potential for New Donkey Farming Systems to Supply the Growing Demand for Hides" Animals 10, no. 4: 718. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040718

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop