Great News! Gruesome Ejiao Trade Banned by African Union

Posted by on February 22, 2024 | Permalink

Update (20 February 2024):
Great news! In a historic move, it will soon be illegal to slaughter donkeys for their skin across the African continent as part of a 15-year ban. The news follows a ban in Kenya in 2020 that was later rescinded, and PETA welcomes this much-needed progress. This decision will prevent countless donkeys from being violently killed so that their skins can be exported to China and boiled down to make ejiao, a gelatine used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Update (June 2020):
Earlier this year, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for agriculture announced a ban on all donkey abattoirs in the country, but it has now been rescinded.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 these facilities.

Original post:
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 abattoirs in the country!

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 confectionery.

Last year, PETA Asia’s investigative footage revealed that frightened donkeys are cruelly beaten by workers at government-sanctioned abattoirs, all of which will be shut down by next month.

The investigation also found that donkeys are packed onto lorries and forced to endure gruelling journeys to abattoirs from as far away as neighbouring 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 an abattoir and dragged another one – who was injured so badly that she was unable to stand – from the lorry, dumped her on the ground, and kicked her.

Injured donkey dumped outside slaughterhouse

Pakistan and numerous African countries – including Botswana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda – have banned Chinese-funded abattoirs 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

Kenya’s decision to stop fuelling the cruel ejiao trade is great news, but the market for ejiao is still 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.

What You Can Do for Donkeys

Donkeys in Europe need us, too. Please help donkeys and mules forced to carry tourists up and down steep, slippery steps all day long on the Greek island of Santorini: sign our petition asking the Greek minister for agricultural development and food to ban cruel rides immediately.