The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service has clarified that donkey hides still remain on the Export Prohibition List.
It stressed that the resumption of the certification of the commodity for export hinged on the rebound of the Nigerian donkey herd which is still classified as an endangered species.
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Reacting to a news report that “erroneously suggested that NAQS had resumed the certification of donkey skin for export”, the director-general of the agency, Dr Vincent Isegbe, in a statement signed by the Head of Media, Communication and Strategies, and released on Wednesday in Abuja, pointed out that the agency met with all the relevant associations last September to chart a course toward restocking donkeys through breeding and ranching to put the animals beyond the threat of extinction.
Dr Isegbe added that the government would consider delisting donkey hide from the contraband category only after the scale has tilted in favour of the recovery of the Nigerian donkeys.
The decline of the donkey population in Nigeria was driven by surging demand for donkey hide in Asia.
The product is used in making potions and items presumed to have therapeutic and cosmetic values.