Tags: china | donkey | shortage | ejiao

China Donkey Shortage Where E'jiao Lives on Burro'd Time

Image: China Donkey Shortage Where E'jiao Lives on Burro'd Time

Donkeys nosing around in South Africa help meet demand for a Chinese medicine. (MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 01:52 PM

China has a massive donkey shortage caused by the demand for e’jiao, a traditional medicine made by boiling donkey skin and producing a special gelatin. 

E'jiao is why "there aren't any donkeys left" in China, according to USA Today, quoting 80-year-old Chinese farmer Ma Yufa whose last donkey died in 2014.

"We’ve killed them all,” he said.

E'jiao is "good for building up the body and helps with what is known in Chinese medicine as ‘blood deficiency,’ for conditions such as anaemia and heavy periods, as well as irritating dry coughs," said Emma Farrant, president of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

"It usually comes in blocks of dried pieces which are melted down into a decoction of herbal mixture to drink," she said, per The Guardian.

According to USA Today, "one donkey yields 2.2 pounds of e'jiao" and the demand for it has increased drastically since 2010. The national e’jiao trade noted that in 2015 donkeys yielded almost 15 million pounds of e'jiao. 

This high demand for e'jiao has taken the population of donkeys in China from 11 million 30 years ago to anywhere between three and five million today.

Although e'jiao receives most of the blame for the donkey shortage, those who produce the medicine say they're really not responsible.

“E’jiao is one of traditional Chinese medicine's three great treasures, along with deer horn and ginseng,” said Liu Guangyuan, the vice chairman of Dong'e E'jiao, one of the largest makers of e'jiao in China. No donkeys, no e'jiao.

Donkeys once were known as "the world's herd" because there were so many everywhere. Chinese medicine makers now have to scour the world for them.

Botswana just last month put a ban on the export of donkey skins after seeing that hundreds of animals were being killed on a weekly basis because of the Chinese trade, according to The Guardian

Farrant said her Register condemns "the use of any substance that endangers any animal population, and in the UK it is illegal for herbal practitioners to prescribe animal products."

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China has a massive donkey shortage caused by the demand for e’jiao, a traditional medicine made by boiling donkey skin and producing a special gelatin. 
china, donkey, shortage, ejiao
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2017-52-18
Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 01:52 PM
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