Nigerian officials found and seized thousands of donkey penises that were about to be exported to Hong Kong earlier this month.
According to the Nigeria Customs Service area commander Sambo Dangaladima, 16 sacks of donkey penises were seized. They were falsely declared as cow male genitals, but upon further examination, their export officers found out that they were donkey male genitals, said Dangaladima.
Exporting of donkey genitals, and the consequential seizure, from Nigeria, is said to be rare, but exporting or smuggling of donkey skin is a frequent occurrence in the country.
Donkey skin, or ejiao, is used as a key ingredient in traditional Chinese remedies. It is said to treat a variety of conditions such as insomnia, dizziness, and even bleeding. But the demand for donkey skin has devastating effects on the donkey population not only in China, but all over the world.
“Demand for ejiao has decimated the donkey population in China and is associated with the unsustainable, cruel and often illegal global skin trade,” wrote The Donkey Sanctuary.
Nigerian officials have proposed to ban the killing of donkeys and the export of their skins in an effort to stop the alarmingly diminishing population of their country’s donkey population. This proposal is yet to be passed into law.
THANK YOU to the officers of @CustomsNG who intercepted 7,000 smuggled donkey penises at the Lagos airport on their way to Hong Kong for Chinese medicine.
Nigeria must enact the ban on donkey slaughter NOW to shut down this horrifying trade! https://t.co/FiUWHceAjp
— PETA (@peta) September 8, 2022
According to PETA, the donkey penises seized were believed to serve the same purpose as donkey skins, for Chinese medicine. “The illegally shipped equine genitalia were allegedly headed to Hong Kong to be used in making a traditional Chinese medicine called ejiao.”
Back in 2019, there was a report that officials in Nigeria and Kenya feared that donkeys would go extinct by 2022 if something wasn’t done to stop the skin trade. The report may contain sensitive images so please open with caution.
“This animal is facing extinction (in Nigeria) and it is an animal you cannot breed in large numbers because of the very low rate of fertility,” said one of the federal lawmakers in Nigeria.
The Donkey Sanctuary also suggests a more humane and sustainable method in meeting the demand for donkey collagen by producing them in laboratories with cellular agriculture processes in hopes of ending the donkey skin trade.