Kenya has prohibited
the killing of donkeys and their consequent export to China where their
boiled-down skin is used in medicine, cosmetics and candy.
The ban followed
a PETA investigation of government-sanctioned abattoirs in Mogotio and Naivasha.
The investigation revealed that workers violently beat the donkeys who were then
killed for a traditional Chinese medicine known as ejiao.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has ordered that all donkey abattoirs
in Kenya be shut down by next month.
Donkey Skin Trade
comes after more than 200,000 PETA supporters sent letters urging Munya to end
the donkey-skin trade. The revelations show that donkeys are packed onto trucks
and forced to endure gruelling journeys to abattoirs from as far away as
The trip from the border with Ethiopia can take two days, during which the animals are not given any water or food. Many collapse while others die after the gruelling journeys.
investigation found that workers left the bodies of two donkeys who had died
during the long journey outside the abattoir and dragged another one – who was
so injured that she was unable to stand – from the truck, dumped her on the
ground, and kicked her.
shutting down these abattoirs, the country has cut ties with a cruel trade that
sentences gentle donkeys to miserable deaths by the millions,” says PETA
Senior Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker.
needs donkey skin except the animals who were born in it, and PETA hopes other
countries take a stand against the ejiao industry and follow suit.”
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.
Gelatine in Donkey Hides
eBay and dozens of other companies have agreed to stop selling items containing
Sanctuary, an international animal welfare charity, in its latest report into
the trade reveals that donkey populations have crashed in a number of countries
as increasing demand for ejiao has led to an unsustainable number of donkeys
donkey hides is a key ingredient in ejiao and The Donkey Sanctuary has been
calling for an urgent halt to the largely unregulated global trade in donkey
skins before the beasts of burden are wiped out in some areas.
around 4.8 million hides per-year for ejiao production which makes it hard to
meet the demand. Due to this, traders, mainly in Africa, Asia and South
America, are exporting additional skins to China.
In Kenya and
Ghana, where the skin trade is booming, donkeys are also being exploited with
fears that their numbers could dwindle in the near future.
officials in Kenya have expressed serious concerns for their national herd with
a slaughter rate of nearly 380,000 annually putting relentless pressure on
hide trade will lead to an extinction of the species,” Raphael Ngome of the
Kenya Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals warns.
a future without donkeys,” he adds.
halting of the slaughter, Kenya’s donkey populations could once again thrive
but there is a risk of the trade evolving into a black market which could be a challenge
to restoring the donkey number.
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke