Tanzania, Dec. 29 -- Arusha. Despite significant benefits, trade in donkey skins remains unpopular and controversial in East Africa due to concerns that the animal population may reach a dangerously low level.

Traditional donkey keepers in the region are opposed to any type of trading since donkeys are vital to their livelihoods.

Their concerns originate from increased smuggling of their animals due to increased demand for donkey skins in international markets.

In China, considered the main market, donkey hides are processed to extract gelatin, a main ingredient for making Chinese medicine.

A recent survey by an East African Community (EAC) organ indicated that the region was not ready for massive slaughtering of donkeys and unregulat...