Video Exposé: Donkeys Beaten, Throats Slit for Chinese ‘Medicine’ Myth

PETA Urges Consumers to Choose Only Cruelty-Free Medicines, Cosmetics, and Candies

For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

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 slaughterhouse. Workers then slit their throats, but some donkeys continue to breathe and move.

The demand for ejiao—which can also be found in certain candies, snacks, and beauty products available in the United States—has risen so quickly in recent years that donkeys are being imported into China for slaughter and horses, pigs, and cows are being killed for fake ejiao. 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 endure a slow, agonizing death, all for an ingredient,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on kind people in China and everywhere else to choose only foods and medicines that do not contain donkey gelatin and to encourage their friends and family members to do the same.”

PETA Asia—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 feces 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 the place down.

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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