Thefts and smuggling of donkey hides persists in Pakistan

Pakistan
Published:  15 November, 2016

Following the ban on the donkey hide trade, the smuggling of hides continues into China and the skinless bodies of the dead animal are found on the surrounding areas of Lahore and Kasur, one of Pakistan’s biggest markets for hides collection and leather processing.

Sometimes with the connivance some members of the police in the areas of Niaz Nagar and Din Gar, the hub for hide and leather deals in Kasur, the smugglers transport the salted or dried donkey hides to China at night, where they are used to make gelatine for human consumption, beauty products and medicines.

According to local media, police in areas around Kasur and Lahore are said to have arrested people caught stealing donkeys and to have recovered several dead skinless bodies across the region. The donkeys are reported to be killed through a poisonous injection before having their skins removed, and their meat is either destroyed or used for fats extraction.

The Chinese buyers, which can be seen in the Kasur market, are said to have offices in Model Town, Lahore, where they deal with the sellers and pay them cash. However, it is claimed the cash figures are not big in the trade despite a ban on the donkey hide trade. Before the ban, a hide would be sold between PKR10,000 (US$95) and PKR20,000 (US$190), and it is estimated the current rates per hide are PKR5,000 (US$47) to PKR7,000 (US$66).

Some Chinese buyers are said to have recently reduced prices claiming they had to pay PKR4 million (US$38,000) in bribes to customs officials at the port in Karachi for a shipment of 30,000 donkey hides covered in plastic bags and concealed in vegetable cartons.

According to The Sauer Report, as China’s donkey population declines, major African economies such as Kenya and South Africa are scaling up their facilities to meet Chinese demand, and a black market is also flourishing across the continent. Read more here.

Source: Dawn