Africa Union Bans Donkey Slaughter for Ejiao

Posted on by Dan H

The African Union heads of state have ratified a motion proposing a 15-year ban on the donkey-skin trade. The group’s 55 member states will ban the slaughter of donkeys for their skin, sparing countless animals the trauma of being kidnapped and a cruel death just to fuel China’s lucrative market for gelatine extracted from their hides.

Donkey-hide gelatine is commonly known as “ejiao” and sometimes “gelatina nigra”. It can be found in beverages, candy, and even beauty products. The demand in China for the dubious supplement accounts for the slaughter of more than 5 million donkeys annually, only 2 million of which are supplied domestically. These living, feeling beings are imported into China from other countries in Asia as well as the Middle East, Africa, and South America in order to meet the demand.

A PETA Asia investigation into China’s ejiao industry blew the lid off the violent abuse of donkeys. On farms, workers were seen hitting animals as young as 5 months old with sledgehammers and beating terrified others with sticks. Some slaughtered donkeys by bludgeoning them on the head before slitting their throats. And PETA Asia’s investigation at a donkey slaughterhouse in Kenya—which revealed that donkeys were left to suffer from untreated injuries and that some even died during the torturous, days-long journey to the slaughterhouse—ignited global outrage:

In Australia, the Northern Territory government exports donkey hides to China to fuel the cruel ejiao trade and has investigated expanding this business by implementing a live-donkey export industry. Donkeys are highly sensitive animals who suffer tremendously during live-export, and they would be killed in inhumane ways in China, where animal protection and welfare law is either non-existent or not enforced. Please take action by urging the minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry to block any future plans to exploit these gentle animals by prohibiting the export of all live donkeys to China.