For Immediate Release:
22 November 2017

PETA Asia Exposé Shows Why Australia Should Never Export Live Animals to China

Beijing – A never-before-seen PETA Asia video exposé of the Chinese trade in donkeys’ skins – which are boiled down for a traditional “medicine” called ejiao – reveals that thousands of donkeys are being kept in filthy and cramped concrete-floored pens, beaten with sticks at the donkey market, and bashed in the head with a sledgehammer at the abattoir. Workers then slit their throats, but some donkeys continue to breathe and move.

While some countries, such as Pakistan and 10 African nations, have closed Chinese-funded abattoirs and developed policies to ban the exportation of donkey skins to China, earlier this year, the Australian government revealed that it planned to capitalise on China’s demand for donkey skins and has received some enquiries about exporting equines for slaughter. Meanwhile, Hancock Prospecting and Wellard are working to begin exporting live cattle to China.

The demand for ejiao – which can also be found in certain candies, snacks, and beauty products – has risen so quickly in recent years that donkeys are being imported into China for slaughter. According to Dr Lee Yuming, a doctor of Chinese medicine, “There is a misconception about ejiao – it is not the most effective medicine to enrich blood in spite of its long history in traditional medicine. Nowadays, there are many other options that are much better at improving one’s health, including modern drugs and herbal medicines.”

“Donkeys as young as 5 months old have been bashed in the head and left to die slowly and in agony, all for an ingredient,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “PETA is calling on the Australian government to reject any plans to send animals to be slaughtered in China.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” – notes that on these farms, donkeys were observed standing in their own faeces and urine. Some were so malnourished, injured, or ill that they were unable to walk. The only water available to them was dirty and green with algae. Workers also confided to PETA Asia’s eyewitness that they were concerned that environmental inspectors would fine them or shut them down.

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