Islamabad: Pakistan is exporting donkeys to China and making money due to higher prices there, an official financial document said.
The Economic Survey, presented by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin ahead of the national budget announcement, said donkeys were being exported to China, which is highly valued there.
The document claimed the donkeys hides were used to manufacture traditional Chinese medicines. Gelatin made from donkey skin has been long considered to have medicinal properties in China, traditionally being thought to nourish the blood and enhance the immune system.
The donkey population in Pakistan increased by 100,000 during the current fiscal year of 2020-21 to reach 5.6 million. However, the population growth of horses and mules remained stagnant, the Pakistan Economic Survey 2020-21 revealed.
The number of farm animals including buffaloes, horses, donkeys, goats, sheep and camels, according to the survey, has also increased to reach 5.7 million.
The Economic Survey said that the total number of animals in the country increased to 21.31 million compared to 20.7 million during 2019-20. The number of livestock animals increased by 1.9 million during 2020-21 compared to the year 2019-20.
The Economic Survey suggested that the number of donkeys had increased from 5.5 million to 5.6 million, the number of buffaloes increased from 41 million to 42.4 million, and the number of goats had increased from 78.2 million to 80.3 million in the fiscal year ending on June 30.
The number of sheep in the country has increased from 31.2 million to 31.6 million while the number of horses and mules in the country has not increased in the fiscal year 2020-21.