The National Council of SPCAs has confirmed that donkeys are the latest victims of the trade in animal parts “for medicinal purposes” to the Far East, according to the organization’s South Africa area’s press release.
Donkey skin is claimed to be valued for its medicinal purposes as having “anti-aging properties, cure insomnia and improve blood circulation.” The gelatin in the hide of the donkey is a key ingredient in China’s ejiao industry. The skins are soaked to release the substance.
The horrendous cruelty to donkeys continues to be uncovered. In one despicable situation, 42 donkeys had been stolen, and the Asian property owner where the dead animals were found, told authorities he was only concerned with slaughtering and skinning them because they made “good medicine.” In another instance, the Bloemfontein SPCA (South Africa) investigated an issue involving 70 sick, weak and emaciated donkeys on a plot outside the city. The donkeys were left for two weeks with no food or water. Pregnant donkeys had aborted and dead babies were found on the ground. The owner of the donkeys stated that he was only interested in the skins to export to China. The suffering donkeys had to be humanely euthanized, and criminal charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act are pending.
On Friday, the Polokwane SPCA discovered 41 donkeys being transferred to a slaughterhouse. Barely able to stand on the slippery floor of the truck, males, females and baby donkeys were all crowded into the same compartment where the animals appeared to be in shock, collapsing or dead. The four men responsible have been arrested, denied bail and will appear in court next week.
Tragically the donkeys had to be euthanized.
An urgent appeal has been made; – anyone with information may contact the NSPCA via firstname.lastname@example.org. You may remain anonymous, but the more information you are able to give, the more helpful it will be in tracking down and bringing to justice those involved in this despicable, horrendous and cruel trade.
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