Nigerian officials intercept 7,000 smuggled donkeys at international airport after smell of sacks raised suspicions
- The 7,000 donkeys were smuggled to Hong Kong in 16 sacks
- But customs officials at Lagos International Airport have intercepted packages
- The illegal trade in donkey parts – including animal penises and skin – from Nigeria to China is widespread, as they are used to make Chinese medicine
Nigerian officials have intercepted 7,000 donkeys at an international airport after the packages’ smell raised suspicions.
The donkeys were smuggled into Hong Kong in 16 bags, but customs officials at Murtala Muhammed Airport in the Nigerian city of Lagos intercepted the packages.
Sambo Dangaladima, the customs inspector at the airport, told the BBC the animal parts were found in sacks at the animal exports department.
The donkeys were smuggled into Hong Kong in 16 bags, but customs officials at Murtala Muhammed Airport (file picture) in the city of Lagos intercepted the packages
The illegal trade in donkey parts – including the animal’s penis and skin – from Nigeria to China is widespread
He said a pungent odor emanated from the bags, raising suspicions among customs officials, who then opened the packages to find the 7,000 donkey poops.
Dangaladima said a suspect linked to the shipment, valued at an estimated 200 million naira (£416,000), escaped.
The illegal trade in donkey parts – including the animal’s penis and skin – from Nigeria to China is widespread.
The animal parts are used in China to make a traditional medicine called ejiao.
In June, Nigerian Customs said it had intercepted three 100kg bags containing donkey genitals and 3,712 pieces of donkey skin at an airport.
Four months earlier, in March, four suspects were arrested when they tried to smuggle 2,754 donkey jocks and 3,712 pieces of skin.
In June, Nigerian Customs said it had intercepted three 100kg bags containing donkey genitals and 3,712 pieces of donkey skin at an airport (pictured).
Nigeria lost over £6 billion from the illegal trade in donkey parts to China from 2012 to 2018, officials said.
It is illegal in Nigeria to kill donkeys for their body parts and smuggle them to foreign countries – but illegal smuggling continues.
The Donkey Dealers Association of Nigeria this week called on the Nigerian government to prosecute those involved in the indiscriminate killing of donkeys and smuggling their animal parts out of the country.
The charity said it has invested millions in raising donkeys, but the smugglers are sabotaging their efforts.