For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2019

PETA Reveals Extreme Cruelty to Donkeys Killed in Kenya for Skins Exported to China and Used to Make Ejiao Medicine

Nairobi — Today, PETA is releasing a video exposé that pulls back the curtain on the cruelty behind the Chinese trade in donkey skins, which are boiled down to be used in energy drinks, candy, and a traditional medicine called ejiao. It reveals that donkeys whose skins are used in this industry face horrific abuse in government-sanctioned slaughterhouses in Mogotio and Naivasha. In Naivasha, workers were caught on film violently beating frightened donkeys who were crammed together so tightly that they could barely move.

The ejiao industry, which annually produces 5,000 tons of products containing the vile ingredient, uses some 4 million donkey hides each year, half of which are imported to China from other countries, including Kenya, which has opened three new donkey slaughterhouses in just the last three years alone in order to cater to this trade. Donkeys are packed onto trucks and taken to the slaughterhouses from as far away as neighboring countries—and the journey from the border with Ethiopia can take two days, during which the donkeys are given nothing to eat or drink. Many collapse, and some even die. While PETA was on site, workers left the bodies of two donkeys, who had died during the long trip, outside the slaughterhouse and dragged another—who was so injured that she was unable to stand—from the truck, dumped her on the ground, and kicked her.

“While slaughterhouses cash in on the Chinese desire for ejiao, gentle donkeys are paying the price by being tortured and killed,” says PETA Vice President Jason Baker. “PETA calls on all kind people around the world to think of the terrified donkeys who suffer and die for the gelatin made from their skins and refuse to buy any item that contains it.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—notes that Pakistan and numerous African countries, including Botswana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, have banned Chinese-funded slaughterhouses or implemented policies to stop the export of donkey skins to China. In addition, after appeals from PETA U.S., companies such as eBay and Walmart-owned Jet.com have agreed to stop selling items containing ejiao.

Photographs and broadcast-quality video footage from the investigation are available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAAsia.com.