Update (February 21, 2024): Victory! Following multiple investigations and years of campaigning by PETA entities—including hundreds of thousands of e-mails from our compassionate supporters—African state leaders have approved a ban that makes the slaughter of donkeys for their skin illegal across the entire continent.
Update: June 2020
Earlier this year, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for agriculture announced a ban on all donkey slaughterhouses in the country, but it has now been rescinded. Donkeys need your help more than ever.
Please take action and demand that Kenya shut down its donkey slaughterhouses.
Originally published: February 2020
After nearly two years of pressure from PETA and our international affiliates—including more than 200,000 e-mails from kind people like you—the cabinet secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Peter Munya, has finally banned donkey slaughterhouses in the country!
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At least 1,000 donkeys are slaughtered every day in Kenya to be exported to China, where their skin is boiled down to make ejiao, an ingredient used in medicines, cosmetics, and candy.
Last year, PETA’s investigative footage revealed that frightened donkeys are cruelly beaten by workers at government-sanctioned slaughterhouses, all of which will be shut down by next month.
The investigation also found that donkeys are packed onto trucks and forced to endure grueling journeys to slaughterhouses from as far away as neighboring countries. The trip from the border with Ethiopia can take two days, during which the animals aren’t given any water or food, and many collapse and even die. Workers left the bodies of two donkeys who had died during the long journey outside a slaughterhouse and dragged another one – who was injured so badly that she was unable to stand – from the truck, dumped her on the ground, and kicked her.
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, eBay and dozens of other companies have agreed to stop selling items containing ejiao.
The Misery Behind Ejiao
The market for ejiao is growing rapidly. Donkeys are now being imported into China for slaughter from countries in Asia, the Middle East, and South America in order to meet the demand, and some other countries, including Australia, are shamefully considering opening up a live-export donkey trade. The ejiao industry is also giving rise to a black market for donkeys: Many are being taken by rustlers or slaughtered illegally so that people can profit from China’s medicinal market. The demand is so high that other animals, such as horses, pigs, and cows, are now meeting the same gruesome fate in the production of fake ejiao.