On 19 February, OCCRP reported that Botswana’s lucrative yet controversial trade in donkey skins is back in the spotlight after an investigation asserts that one of the country’s four licensed donkey abattoirs is still engaging in cross-border smuggling and environmental criminality. Donkeys skin is in demand as it is processed into “ejiao” gelatin, one of the most valuable substances in traditional Chinese medicine, which is used in anti-ageing products like face creams. The allegations relate to the Chinese-owned Bo Chang abattoir in Francistown, eastern Botswana. The article says that, with donkey populations plummeting across east and southern Africa and locals in Botswana increasingly unwilling to sell to Bo Chang, it is alleged that the slaughterhouse is relying on smugglers more heavily than ever to stock its unsustainable supply.
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