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.
As per the economic survey, the number of donkeys has 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 has increased from 78.2 million to 80.3 million.
Similarly, 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 year 2020-21.
Donkeys are being exported to China, which is highly priced there, especially for their hide which is 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.