Walmart Ends Donkey-Skin Gelatin Sales After PETA Appeal

Retail Giant Removes Chinese Ingredient Found in Cosmetics and Candies—Group Sends Thanks With Vegan Chocolates

For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Bentonville, Ar. – After watching video footage from a PETA exposé showing that donkeys’ heads are smashed in with sledgehammers for a traditional Chinese “medicine” known as ejiao—which is made from boiled donkey hides and used in a variety of snacks, face creams, and even energy drinks—Walmart removed all items containing it from its shelves. PETA has sent the company a thank-you gift of special-edition PETA chocolates.

Walmart is the largest of dozens of outlets that have recently banned or removed ejiao—including eBay and Walmart-owned—after PETA’s video exposé of the Chinese ejiao industry revealed that thousands of donkeys were kept inside filthy, cramped, concrete-floored pens and beaten when they reached the market. Their heads were then struck with sledgehammers and their throats slit so that workers could cut off their skin. Some donkeys continued to breathe and even move after their skin had been cut off.

“Donkeys who are still just babies are bashed in the head and even skinned alive for a so-called ‘medicine’ that actually causes enormous suffering,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges more companies to join Walmart in pulling cruelly produced ejiao from their shelves.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any way”—notes that its exposé also revealed that donkeys were forced to stand 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