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Why China seeks import of donkeys & dogs from Pakistan!

Pakistan is among the top countries that have the world's largest donkey population with China being the number one, but China's demand surpasses its supply.

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China has expressed interest in buying dogs and donkeys from Pakistan. This was revealed by the Officials of the Ministry of Commerce to the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce.

According to the details, the Chinese ambassador has talked about exporting meat from Pakistan several times. It was suggested that Pakistan can first import the animals from Afghanistan since they are cheaper there and can later export the meat to China.

However, the suggestion was rejected because animal import from Afghanistan has temporarily been banned due to the prevalence of lumpy skin disease among animals.

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China’s demand for donkeys and dogs

China needs about 5 million donkeys a year to produce and meet the demand for ejiao. Ejiao, also called donkey glue, is used as medicine or as a tonic for health and beauty in China. Ejiao has been used as medicine for the last two millennia, and in modern-day China, it is available in various edible forms intended to aid circulation and help with aches and pains. About 2 million of the supply come from China’s own population of animals. Of the remaining, 3 million or more are sourced abroad.

Pertinent to mention that Pakistan is among the top world’s largest donkey population countries with China being the number one, but China’s demand surpasses its supply, therefore, it has to import from other countries.

Last year, the Punjab government set up a farm in Okara district with the aim to export donkeys to earn foreign exchange. The farm is said to be the first government-owned facility in the province where donkeys of great breeds, including American, will be reared for their export to China and other countries. The donkey farm had been set up at Bahadurnagar Farm which is spread over an area of 3,000 acres.

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As for China’s demand for dogs, the extent of dog consumption in China varies by region. It is most prevalent in Guangdong, Yunnan, and Guangxi, as well as the northern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning. Since 2009, Yulin, Guangxi, has held an annual festival of eating dog meat.