Exposed Again: Donkeys Abused and Slaughtered for Traditional Chinese Medicine

A breaking PETA Asia investigation has found horrific abuse in Kenya’s donkey slaughter industry, which exists only to meet China’s demand for ejiao, a traditional Chinese medicine. In 2017, PETA exposed similar cruelty in China, where donkeys – some as young as 5 months old – are bashed in the head with a sledgehammer and their throats are slit so that their skin can be boiled down to make gelatine for ejiao. This time, the footage shows workers at government-sanctioned abattoirs in Kenya mercilessly beating frightened donkeys.

Donkeys Face Harrowing Journeys, Denied Food and Water

PETA Asia reports that Kenya has opened three donkey abattoirs in the last three years. Many donkeys are transported to these facilities by lorry from neighbouring countries. The gruelling trip can take several days, often in scorching temperatures.

Donkeys Are Injured and Some Die During Transport

Eyewitnesses found dead donkeys who hadn’t survived the torturous journey abandoned outside an abattoir. One donkey on a lorry appeared to be injured and was unable to stand up. Workers dragged her out, dumped her at the facility’s front gate, and kicked her. Eyewitnesses didn’t see her receive any pain relief or treatment – she was simply left to suffer from her injuries.

Donkeys in Kenya.

Other Countries Have Already Banned This Cruel Practice

Many African countries including Botswana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda – have banned the export of donkey skin or have closed down Chinese-owned abattoirs. Yet, despite a warning from China’s official National Health and Family Planning Commission that ejiao is really just “boiled donkey skin”, donkey abattoirs continue to operate in countries like Kenya in order to meet Chinese consumer demand for the product.

There are virtually no regulations against the abuse of animals on farms or in abattoirs in Kenya, so none of the violence captured in the footage is punishable by law.

PETA and our affiliates have been pressuring officials, companies, and consumers around the world – including in Australia -to stop supporting this cruel industry. There are numerous alternatives to ejiao, including modern medications and herbal medicines, that are more effective and don’t require that any animals be killed.

Injured donkey dumped outside a slaughterhouse in Kenya.

What You Can Do

Unfortunately, the Australian government has revealed that it also plans to capitalise on China’s demand for donkey skins and that it has received some enquiries about the export of live equines for slaughter. The Northern Territory government already exports donkey hides to China to support the cruel ejiao trade and may consider expanding this business by establishing a live-donkey export industry.

Please urge the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to reject any plans to send live donkeys to be slaughtered in China.