Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : Zhang Minmin Page No. : 04

China behind India’s falling donkey population

Times of India reported on February 7 that the data released by Madhya Pradesh state animal husbandry department show that the number of donkeys in the state went down from 49,000 in 1997 to 14,000 in 2012. Donkeys are disappearing faster than tigers in Madhya Pradesh.

The NGO International Organization for Animal Protection (OIPA) said the disappearance of donkey from India has a China connection. Chinese businessmen buy donkeys for producing E-gelatin (Ejiao). “China’s domestic demand is strong and businessmen are looking to India and Pakistan,” says Sukanya Berwal, OIPA’s program director, who has also petitioned the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare donkeys as endangered species.

Madhya Pradesh government officials accept the fact that donkeys in the state are indeed disappearing by the day, but not because of the reason given by OIPA. “They were used for centuries to transport material, but now they have fallen victim to modernisation. They are useless and it is the only reason why their population is on the decline,” said Dr R K Rokde, director of the state animal husbandry department.

(Zhang Minmin)

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