In five years, the number of donkeys in Kyrgyzstan has been halved, and after a few years, as foreign ecologists warn, these animals may disappear there altogether. This was reported by the BBC.
In 2012 in Kyrgyzstan, there were 77 thousand donkeys, and in 2017 – 33 thousand. “Previously, almost every household had donkeys, almost 60-70, and now there are only five or six left for the whole village. The owners tied them in the depths of the sheds so that they would not steal them, ”Anarbai Kadyrov, a resident of the village of Ak-Terek, told reporters.
Reporters found that the main reason for the reduction of livestock – exports to China. In the seven months of 2018, 17 thousand donkeys were brought there from Kyrgyzstan. These animals are actively used in traditional Chinese medicine. From donkey hides prepare the “elixir of youth” ejiao . In the past, they tried to treat cancer and anemia. Now it is added to cosmetics and food. The State Committee on Health officially announced that the beneficial properties of the elixir are greatly exaggerated, but this did not greatly reduce its popularity.
Inside China, the donkey population falls at a catastrophic pace. In 1990, there were 11 million of these animals in the country, and in 2017 only 3 million. About 4 million donkey hides per year are processed to make ejiao. Until recently, donkeys were exported to China mainly from Africa. But the African authorities didn’t like the current situation very much, so lately at least seven states have imposed an export ban. Suppliers have switched to Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan.
In 2008, the authorities of China and Kyrgyzstan concluded a special agreement on the export of donkeys. In addition, the illegal trade of stolen animals became widespread. Otuz-Adyr resident Adilbek Kudaiberdiev told the BBC that four donkeys had been stolen from him last spring. He appealed to the police, but they laughed at him and said that they were not investigating the theft of donkeys and dogs. At the same time, the Kudaiberdiev family is very difficult to carry out agricultural work without donkeys. Anarbay Kadyrov told reporters that ten donkeys, including his own, were stolen from them in the village of Ak-Terek. Later, he found the animal dead, the skin was removed from it.
Recently, the Kyrgyz authorities have begun to take measures to solve the problem. Policemen began investigating the theft – so, in the Osh Oblast Department of Internal Affairs, journalists were told that in 2017 they were investigating the loss of about a hundred donkeys. For Chinese companies have introduced new rules: now they have the right to buy donkeys only alive, and before buying must take a picture of the animal along with the owner. As a result, announcements appeared on the fences of many companies that stolen donkeys are not bought. The buyers demand a copy of a passport from suppliers and threaten that if the seller is suspected of stealing a donkey, they will turn to the police.
In addition, residents of Kyrgyzstan regularly accuse the owners of Chinese “donkey farms” in insanitary conditions and in selling olyatiny under the guise of other types of meat. In the British non-profit organization Donkey Charity ( Wikipedia ) warned that earlier violations of health standards by Chinese collectors of donkey skins led to epidemics in several African countries.
Kyrgyz officials polled by the BBC did not want to talk about the problem of reducing the number of donkeys. On the contrary, the sale of donkeys to China is often proud of as an increase in exports. The State Agency for Environmental Protection said they did not protect donkeys. The State Inspectorate for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Security was advised to contact the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Journalists was sent back to the inspection. The BBC notes that poor rural people suffer the most from the current situation. Donkey is much cheaper than a horse and can work for 20-30 years.
According to the materials of the Russian service BBC.