U.S. Firms Remove Donkey-Skin Gelatin Products After PETA Appeals

New Video Shot in China Shows Donkeys Hit in the Head With Sledgehammers, Throats Slit for Chinese 'Medicine' Found in Cosmetics, Candy on U.S. Shelves

For Immediate Release:
February 1, 2018

Contact:
Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Hoboken, N.J. – Walmart-owned online retailer Jet.com pledged this week to remove all products containing ejiao—a traditional Chinese “medicine” made from gelatin extracted from boiled donkey hides that’s touted as a cure-all in China and is found in some candies, snacks, and beauty products in the U.S.—from its shelves immediately. A number of other U.S.-based companies—including Acupuncture Atlanta, Fresh Bites Basket, Grocery Grove, Magical Chefs, Stocked Farm, Chef Masterpiece, Herbs Direct USA (dba “MaxNature”), C. A. I. Corporation, Acu-Market, and Good Price Appliances—have also pledged to drop ejiao after watching the PETA video this week.

A 2017 PETA Asia video exposé of the Chinese ejiao industry revealed that thousands of donkeys were kept in filthy, cramped, concrete-floored pens. They were beaten at a market and bashed in the head with a sledgehammer at a slaughterhouse. Workers then slit the animals’ throats, but the footage shows that some donkeys continued to breathe and move after this.

“These companies learned from PETA that donkeys as young as 5 months old are bashed in the head and often endure a slow, agonizing death in order to produce ejiao, so they pulled the product from their shelves,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “It’s time to bust the myth that using rhino horns, deer tongues, and donkey skins does anything except cause enormous suffering.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—notes that last year’s 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.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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