Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Slaughtered & skinned, carcasses of 250 donkeys hazardously dumped without burial in Sohag

Mada Masr
250 skinned donkeys dumped without burial in Sohag

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Officials in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Sohag are conducting investigations to identify those involved in dumping the carcasses of 250 skinned donkeys disposed of on a desert road near the town of Akhmim.

Local media outlets reported that investigations began on Monday, following the discovery of the donkeys the previous day. Graphic photos circulating on social media revealed how the animals were dumped in the open, after being slaughtered and skinned for their hides, which are increasingly being marketed as cattle leather and sold at marked-up prices in domestic markets.

The 250 carcasses were found in one concentrated area along a small desert road near the village of Kola without a safe or hygienic burial, in close proximity to agricultural and residential areas.

Sohag Governor Ayman Abdel Moneim has mobilized a team of veterinarians and environmental specialists from the governorate to safely dispose of the decomposing bodies at a safe distance away from any inhabited areas, reported the privately owned Youm7 news portal.  

The veterinarians noted that the donkeys had not been slaughtered for their meat, but had only been skinned for their hides, a recurring phenomenon in Egypt.

Less than one month ago, three men in Old Cairo were jailed after being apprehended in a tannery with the carcasses of four donkeys. Another three donkeys were found alive in the tannery.

The men reportedly confessed to selling the donkey hides for substantially marked-up prices at local leather shops and tanneries, which market them as being leather from cattle. Jailed pending investigations, they added that they were not slaughtering or selling the donkeys for their meat.

An unnamed veterinarian from the Ministry of Agriculture told local media outlets last month that the average price of an adult donkey may exceed LE200, yet some farmers and vendors of donkeys – who have traditionally supplied local zoos and circuses, to feed lions and tigers – are currently demanding nearly 10 times that price per animal.

He pointed out the sale of donkey hides is far more profitable than the sale of their meat, particularly amid market indicators of a growing overseas demand for donkey hides. Among the countries with the largest demand for donkey hides is China, where they are increasingly used to manufacture gelatin, glue and medicines.

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