Breeding more donkeys to keep tradition alive

Habitat for Horse decided to change our focus on this blog. It was getting to the point where all we published were negative opinions, horror stories, and giving publicity to the borderline insane. More than a few people commented that they simply stopped reading what we published because they wanted to read something positive about horses. Can’t say I blame them. The horror stories can get to you.

We have a specific job to do at the ranch – assisting law enforcement, rehabilitating, training and adopting horses, operate therapy programs for children and adults. It’s enough to keep everyone busy 24 hours a day. But we can’t help but look up on occasion to see what is going on in the rest of the world. Sometimes, it just demands a voice or it disappears on the back page of some foreign magazine.

Beyond the total lack of any quality control on human and animal food exported from China, we now make you aware of a massive breeding program for donkeys – not because of the love of donkeys, but because they love donkey milk, donkey blood and donkey “ejiao,” a gelatin made from donkey skins and used for its high “medical value.”

The goal? 10,000 studs, all at one single breeding center. No difference between this and the efforts of some ranchers who wanted to raise horses for their meat, the Chinese raise them for their skins.

Perhaps it should give a us all a moment of thought before we buy products that are “Made in China.”

From: ECNS.cn
Editor: Qin Dexing

donkeysA breeding center in the hometown of donkey-hide gelatin plans to increase its stud scale to 10,000 by the end of next year, as shortened supplies keep pushing up the price of the traditional Chinese medicine.

The center in Dong’e county of Shangdong province, currently with a total stock of about 700, also plans to research on donkey milk and blood and apply the study result to optimize breeding.

“We all choose big-sized black donkeys for breeding, because ejiao made by black donkey-hide is believed to have the highest medical value,” said Zhao Zhichao, technician of the breeding center.

He added that the conception rate is 70 percent, and the center would also transport the frozen semen to other breeding areas in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.

However, as machinery use in agriculture widens, donkeys are seldom seen working in fields anymore, which has dampened farmers’ interest in raising the animal.

Figures from agriculture authorities suggest the number of donkeys raised by farmers dropped to 6.03 million at the end of last year, compared with 11.2 million several years ago. And the number is still dropping.

Dong’e Ejiao Co Ltd, the largest Chinese maker of donkey-hide gelatin by market share, announced in September that it would raise the product’s factory-gate price by more than 50 percent as herds dwindle.

It was the third time Dong’e had raised the price since last year. Last August, the company raised the price by 25 percent to 1,098 yuan ($178.70) per 500 grams, followed by a 19 percent increase to 1,298 yuan in January.

Demand for ejiao has been rising by an average of 30 percent a year, according to the company.

Ejiao is credited by many with improving blood circulation and replenishing energy. Its supposed beautifying effects make it a favorite among women.

The Chinese medicine is made of boiling a donkey hide and refining the gelatin and has a history of more than 2,000 years. Traditionally, it is obtained from a series of processes of washing, soaking, rinsing and stewing the hide.

Ejiao production techniques have been listed as a national-class intangible cultural heritage.

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18 Comments
  • No Animal is safe with the Chinese. They prove this over and over. Dog and Cats are slaughtered for food and horses and their cousins are often chased by Big Cats at the Zoos in China before the Predators are allowed to kill and eat them in front of an audience. There is a baseline for Cruelty and China is beneath that line, as well as North and South Korea, and other Asian cultures. Culture never justifies cruelty. Ever.

    October 30, 2014
    • Lee

      And don’t forget Mexico & South America.

      October 31, 2014
  • sherriey

    um……sorry to bring this up, but isn’t this negitive news too?

    whats with the whole world being so down on the equine world? that everyone out there just wants to kill, eat, maime, torture, neglect….and on and on i could go….any and all equines?????????

    October 30, 2014
    • jfinch

      Yes, it is, which is why I made the statement about looking up on occasion. We could fill a book with negative news on a daily basis, but we are trying to focus on a little bit of positive in what we do and how we do it. As I said – I felt that this negative news needed attention. That’s why I said – it’s negative.

      October 30, 2014
    • Lee

      Agree with you Sherriey! I don’t see anything positive about this story and I’m sick & tired of the horrors that humans inflict on animals.

      I still firmly believe that a human’s character can be judged by the way they treat animals!

      October 31, 2014
      • jfinch

        It was NOT meant to be positive! We are moving away from constant stories like this, but this needed to be brought to your attention. Thus a NEGATIVE story.

        October 31, 2014
        • Belle

          Please don’t move away from these kinds of stories such as this. You can still do positive info. as well as telling the the truth about the suffering of animals. We need this kind of info out for those unaware please for sake of the animals. Thanks you for all that you do in the name of animals.

          October 31, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    Seems the “reason” for much animal cruelty is almost always their “culture”.
    Not a good excuse! Not at all…

    October 30, 2014
  • Margaret

    Sick gross and disgusting. It’s like keeping bears for their bile. Something akin to the magical little blue pill.

    I’m glad we have safe and sane rescuers like Marjorie!

    October 30, 2014
  • arlene

    Lets always have positive thoughts for our Wild Ones always !!!!!!!!!!!!!! The sheer joy and passion they radiate is astounding , lets use this to fight for them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2014
  • Belle

    Putting your head in the sand will not do anything but cause more grief and suffering. Better to be awake.

    October 31, 2014
    • sherriey

      agreed….but to be able to smile once in awhile has a very positive effect on one’s mental health and gives us the ability to see right from wrong and stimulates a more healthful feeling and also gives us the ability to fight that much harder for what we believe in. too much negative is very unhealthful to the mind.

      October 31, 2014
      • sherriey

        sad to say…but i for one backed down on reading this blog just because of too much negativity. never did i change my opinions…but the mind said “ENOUGH!”

        October 31, 2014
      • jfinch

        Sherrley – Thank you for understanding. I live in the middle of the evil – starved horses, court cases, dying foals and humans that cause pain and suffering for fun. Then turning around and searching in internet for stories about level people and the horses they make suffer – yep, it gets too much sometimes. From talking about 10,000 donkeys bred for their skins to watching the precious foal Hollis die in the hospital is a leap few should make. I do because it’s my life and I’ve made it my job. All things considered, I’d rather hold a baby foal than watch the Chinese kill anything.

        October 31, 2014
        • sherriey

          no, thank YOU! honestly….i don’t know how you do it and stay sane.
          the horrors that you see and describe to us… like i said…my mind said ENOUGH. so i had to back off. i’d come and read sometimes….but refrained from commenting.
          i did follow the sweet Hollis. so sad, he at least passed knowing he was loved and was never abused.
          i’ve known such sadness…and its way of draining every ounce of happy out of your soul.
          i get very emotional over losing a dear animal friend…it takes its toll and takes me months to get over it just enough so i can speak the name of my lost one.
          i work for a Vet and almost every couple of weeks we have to put a loved one down b/c of an illness….i cry with their owners, can’t help it…its the saddest part of my job.
          i bring it home too, not meaning to….but i do. i cry in my cat’s fur and in my horse’s mane……finding comfort there.
          thats why i don’t know how you do it….i know death, abuse, pain…it touches your very heart and soul, and it eats you up after awhile.
          i applaud you, Jerry…..you have more intestinal fortitude then i…..God Bless YOU!

          PS….but do me a favor….smile once in awhile….the horses can’t afford to lose you.

          October 31, 2014
      • Daniel Cordero

        I know it can be very hard at times but this is sometimes that needs to be done. Way too many other places look the other way instead of confronting this evil. By shedding light ver these issues we enable people to learn about them and help those without a voice that are out of our physical reach. That being said I understand perfectly what do you feel; one thing that helps me is taking this with irony and use it against those responsible of these evils. However, that’s admittedly a patch and sooner or later it ends up being too much to withstand

        October 31, 2014
  • Debbie Stoutamire

    Jerry – please don’t lose heart over what you’ve seen. We all know how big your heart is. Keep fighting the good fight of faith. You have a big reward in Heaven waiting for you, along with all of the horses and donkeys and dogs you have loved and have saved.

    October 31, 2014
  • Daniel Cordero

    «Ejiao is credited by many with improving blood circulation and replenishing energy»

    Yeahhh riiiight…. and how does it exactly replenishes energy differently from say… lemon-flavored jelly from the grocery or jello made from cow, sheep, rabbit, or fish heads? (sound of crickets in the distance…)

    Because, as far as I know, skin and hair, be it cow, donkey, horse or whatever is just made of collagen and protein fibers… and, even in the remote case there is some sort of substance on that skin (like if donkeys were toads or something) it was certainly washed away in the boilings these guys on the skin.

    Guess this is just like some other remarkably nonsensical beliefs like thinking that eating crushed tiger bones cures impotency (since tigers are so powerful, eating them provides me that prowess). In the same line of thinking, since beans look like kidneys, they must cure renal disease and, if I eat a street pigeon, I might very well grow wings and start flying…

    «the company raised the price by 25 percent to 1,098 yuan ($178.70) per 500 grams, followed by a 19 percent increase to 1,298 yuan in January»

    But what is really intriguing is that some characters are willing to pay gold basically for the same stuff you get a dollar a ton at your local rendering plant. And no, the fact it is made of donkey, does not make this jelly different from that made of chicken legs and fish heads…

    One has to wonder why such people associate eating donkey skins with blood circulation and recovering strength (it has been long known that these “traditional” arts are nothing but placebos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo) but, at any rate, what is clear is that this donkey-killing operation is nothing but a rip-off. Bet five bucks the 2,000 year history is no such and this is just another tall story (or Chinese tales as it is said in Spanish) to monetize the generalized lack of horse sense.

    October 31, 2014