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The potential for new donkey farming systems to supply the growing demand for hides

Bennett, R. and Pfuderer, S. (2020) The potential for new donkey farming systems to supply the growing demand for hides. Animals, 10 (4). 718. ISSN 2076-2615

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/ani10040718


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.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:90382


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