Video Exposé: Donkeys Abused in African Abattoirs

For Immediate Release:

16 May 2019


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


PETA Reveals Extreme Cruelty to Donkeys Killed in Kenya for Skins Exported to China and Used to Make Ejiao Medicine

London – Today,  released a new video exposé that pulls back the curtain on the cruelty behind the Chinese trade in donkey skins, which are boiled down to be used in drinks, sweets, and a traditional Chinese medicine called ejiao. It reveals that donkeys whose skins are used in this industry face horrific abuse in government-sanctioned abattoirs in Mogotio and Naivasha, Kenya. In Naivasha, workers were caught on film violently beating frightened donkeys who were crammed together so tightly that they could barely move.

The ejiao industry, which annually produces over 4,500 tonnes of products containing the vile ingredient, uses some 4 million donkey hides each year, half of which are imported into China from other countries, including Kenya, which has opened three new donkey abattoirs in the last three years alone in order to cater to this trade. Donkeys are packed onto lorries and taken to the abattoirs from as far away as neighbouring countries – and the journey from the border with Ethiopia can take two days, during which the animals are given nothing to eat or drink. Many collapse, and some even die. While PETA Asia eyewitnesses were on site, workers left the bodies of two donkeys, who had died during the long trip, outside an abattoir and dragged another – who was so badly injured that she was unable to stand – from a lorry, dumped her on the ground, and kicked her.

“While abattoirs cash in on the Chinese desire for ejiao, gentle donkeys are being tortured and killed,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA calls on all kind people around the world to think of the terrified donkeys who suffer and die for the gelatine made from their skins and to refuse to buy any item that contains it.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” – notes that 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, after appeals from PETA US, companies such as eBay and Walmart-owned have agreed to stop selling items containing ejiao.

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