Yahoo News is reporting the devastation to the world’s Donkey population numbers

Without intervention, the population of this significant contributor to the world will be decimated

An unproven Eastern medicine is the catalyst behind hundreds of thousands of the world’s donkeys being sent to slaughter. As the so-called ‘medicine’ gains followers throughout the world, the demand for donkeys to slaughter has rocketed upwards — and with no means for speeding the breeding process, the world’s donkey population is at risk as China seeks access to any and all available donkeys — ethics be damned.

Even Amazon is using its giant sales network to push to market the highly questionable product known as ‘ajiao’ — in spite of the fact that just a handful of it is able to be harvested from the carcass of each donkey. Donkeys normally live to a ripe old age (50 years is common) and they are considered to be among the most valuable beasts sharing the planet. They’re docile, productive and hard-working. They are sturdy, stable and, due to their extremely fuel efficient metabolism, they’re among the most cost efficient beings in the animal kingdom — and the history of donkeys as beasts of burden and companion animals goes back at least 5,000 years.

For this reason, it is financially devastating for the tiny farming communities dependent upon them for help in producing and harvesting food to lose a donkey — and they’re now now being stolen worldwide to meet the growing demand for Ajiao.

Combine this with the reduction of wild burros in the U.S. and it isn’t difficult to do the simple math required to recognize that the world’s donkey population is at risk.

It takes a donkey at least a full year to produce a foal, 14 months at times — and twins are a rarity. These animals live long lives but must be trained to be manageable, and they require basically the same care a horse does — including regular visits to a farrier.

41 million were thought to exist worldwide in 2006 — 11 million of them in China alone. With the increased demand for AJiao, just 3 million are believed to remain there, with the African populations being decimated as well.

They’re nature’s ‘well-drillers’, digging for water anywhere it’s needed — and their scouting abilities are unparalleled.