Holiday Scandal: Goats, Other Animals Given Through Charities Neglected, Killed Abroad

PETA Offers Animal-Free Ways to Assist Marginalized Communities

For Immediate Release:
December 22, 2021

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – As kind people look online for last-minute gift ideas, PETA has issued a stark warning about the hidden cruelty behind Heifer International, Oxfam, and other programs that give live animals to marginalized communities in countries in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. A new video shot in India details just a few of the horrors that these animals endure, including wooden pegs put through their noses to stop them from drinking their mother’s milk, injuries and maggot-filled wounds that go untreated, and slaughter. It also offers a solution: Charitable individuals can help people already struggling with drought and against starvation with donations to international organizations that focus on clean water, hygiene, fruit tree planting, and education that helps young people pull themselves and their families out of poverty.

The video also shows that sending animals to communities already struggling for resources such as food and water simply means more mouths to feed in challenging conditions. Animals used for food require up to 10 times the water needed to grow crops for direct human consumption.

“Every year, charitable people are duped into believing that they’re providing a needy family with a cherished animal, while in reality, goats, chickens, and other donated animals commonly endure neglect and abuse and end up terrified on a slaughterhouse floor,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges people to support human empowerment programs that respect animals and humans and provide the kind of help that these communities really need.”

A previous joint investigation by PETA and Sentient in Rajasthan, India—where live-animal donations are made to marginalized communities through Heifer International—revealed that goats are held in severely crowded pens or tied up so tightly that they could barely move. They suffered from various ailments, including fractured limbs and an infected udder—none of which were properly treated—and sticks were jammed into the mouths of baby goats to prevent them from drinking their mothers’ milk.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind