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Chinese demand for hides threatens Egypt's donkey population

The Egyptian Farmers Syndicate warns that donkeys are being slaughtered in large numbers for their skins that are smuggled illegally abroad.
IBRAHIM EZZAT/AFP via Getty Images

CAIRO — The head of the Egyptian Farmers Syndicate, Hussein Abdel Rahman Abu Saddam, warned in a July 29 press conference that Egypt's donkey population is in danger. He said that donkey hides have become so valuable that people are slaughtering them to sell their skins for export.

In a video report published on May 6, the World Veterinary Association warned that donkeys in Africa are threatened by the illegal trade in their skins. They are being exported to China, where they are used in the manufacture of several products. The affect on agriculture in Africa is grave, as donkeys are essential to ploughing land and transporting water and goods, the report added.

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