A new report from the Sanctuary, on the trade in donkey skin, has exposed the previously unrecognized serious biosecurity risk posed by the industry. The Donkey Sanctuary, via its official website, said tests carried out on 108 donkey skin samples from a slaughterhouse in Kenya found carriers of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, including 44 samples positive for the methicillin-resistant strain (MRSA). . “Three S. aureus samples tested positive for PVL toxin, which is known to cause invasive necrotizing disease in humans.” International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya (ILRI), Biosecurity risks and implications for human and animal health on a global scale have been revealed in the report. Resources Pan-African Donkey Conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on December 1-2. According to the report, zoonotic diseases are one of the biggest threats to public health worldwide and unhygienic slaughter methods in slaughterhouses are creating potentially devastating biosecurity hazards. He said the diseases identified in the samples taken at the Sanctuary pose a danger to human and equine health, even when transported over great distances. “S. aureus has the ability to survive long periods of transit on poorly preserved skins, which means it can infect humans and animals at the point of slaughter, as well as during transit and delivery to the destination country.” African horse sickness (AHS) may be (cullicoides midge), which may have the potential to survive long voyages in shipping containers and infect new equine hosts upon arrival,” he explained that the international charity, The Donkey Sanctuary, has been working to eradicate the global trade in donkey skins results in suffering for donkeys and donkey-dependent communities on a devastating scale.He said the demand for donkey skins was fueled by ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy believed to have properties “The huge number of donkeys involved the indiscriminate and often unhygienic slaughter, even of those that were sick, the disparate way the skins were they ship and transport, and the global nature of the trade, add to the high risk it poses to the production of ejiao that are contaminated with disease-causing agents,” she said. The report says that in addition to the health risk to humans and equines exposed to these pelts, the biosecurity implications for destination countries were considerable. “Diseases that are endemic in source countries may not be present at all in transit or destination countries, leading to potential disease outbreaks in local, virgin equines. populations,” she explained. Ms Marianne Steele, chief executive of The Donkey Sanctuary, said there was evidence that the trade was “not humane, sustainable or safe and allowing it to continue, given the risks we have disclosed, is uswerable”. Steele said that while many may choose to steer clear of direct impacts on animals and people, she implored consumers, governments and the general public to become aware of the risks to animal and human health. The global trade in donkey skins must stop immediately. If nothing else, the recent lessons from COVID-19 and the current outbreak of bird flu should make us sit up and take note of the emerging threats posed by zoonotic diseases. “The trade currently operates without adequate veterinary and biosecurity protocols. The unregulated and clandestine nature of much of the trade also means that shipments are often untraceable and therefore contaminated skins cannot be traced. large groups of animals from different populations come together,” she said. According to her, most of the trade is based on illegal backyard slaughter, which increases the risk of donkey skins becoming contaminated or other infectious agents. When multiple species are slaughtered in the same location, there is an increased risk of cross contamination. “But even skins processed in licensed slaughterhouses are a biosecurity risk. All of the contaminated skin samples identified at Sanctuary originated from a licensed slaughterhouse in Kenya,” she explained. in China. “The Donkey Sanctuary calls on the governments of China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand to immediately stop the importation of donkey skins, and on the national governments of exporting countries to take immediate action to stop the skin trade. donkey,” she called. Dr Faith Burden, Executive Director of Equine Operations at The Donkey Sanctuary, said the findings throughout the report were shocking. Burden said the disease risks to animals and humans were obvious, with poor hygiene at all stages of trade. The lack of traceability and basic biosecurity should alarm anyone involved in the trade and puts people and animals in general at significant risk. “The skins tested came from a slaughter. I am sure that skins from other sources and on other countries and continents, if tested, could indicate the presence of other important pathogens such as glanders, equine influenza, and African swine fever.” , said. Meanwhile, some public health experts reacting to the report in Nigeria said the country has one of the strictest bans on the export of donkey skins in the world, but The Donkey Sanctuary estimates there were still thousands of unlicensed slaughterhouses. operating in the country. They said up to a million donkeys are believed to be illegally slaughtered for the skins in the country each year, and these skins are then exported around the world, made more concerning by African horse sickness and equine influenza in the Nigerian donkey populations. .
Source Credit: NAN