Horrific footage shows donkeys being brutally slaughtered before they are skinned to make Chinese medicine.
The animals were seen being bashed on the head with a sledgehammer before being stabbed and left to slowly bleed to death on a concrete floor.
One donkey even continued to move after a failed attempt to kill it with a blow to the head, making its last moments agonising.
Horrific footage shows defenceless donkeys being brutally slaughtered to make Chinese medicine by being bashed on the head with a sledgehammer
They are stabbed and left to slowly bleed to death on a concrete floor
Chinese abattoirs slaughter 11 million donkeys a year as their skins is used to make ejiao, a traditional medicine believed to improve blood circulation.
They are kept in squalid conditions crammed into tiny pens where they were observed standing in their own faeces 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,’ according to PETA.
‘One donkey was so malnourished that his ribs stuck out. Another was so sick that he couldn’t walk, so he was dumped into the bucket of a tractor and hauled away.’
The animal rights group said workers told its undercover observers they were concerned environmental inspectors would fine them or shut them down.
Before they arrived, donkeys were sold in crowded open-air markets with the sun beating down on them for hours.
‘Terrified donkeys were beaten with sticks, including one who was hit and screamed at when she attempted to escape through a gate that was left open,’ PETA claimed.
They are kept in squalid conditions crammed into tiny pens where they were observed standing in their own faeces and urine
The footage prompted animal welfare organisations to demand Australia ban live exports to China, as horses, pigs, and cows were being slaughtered to make fake ejiao to meet huge demand.
As supply became scarce in China, manufacturers were looking to Australia for a new source of donkeys.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce declared donkey skin a big export opportunity for the country.
‘The export of donkey meat, I know it’s not a big seller in Australian restaurants, but it is a big seller in China,’ he said during trade talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in March.
Animal rights group PETA said workers told its undercover observers they were concerned environmental inspectors would fine them or shut them down
‘You’ve got to understand the cultural requirements. If people want edible donkey skins, Australia is going to provide them.
‘We’re going to make sure if you want to eat donkey skins, you’re going to eat our edible donkey skins.’
Mr Joyce said Chinese companies made inquiries to the Northern Territory government about farms there providing them with donkeys.
Dozens of donkeys were also near-abandoned on a farm near Adelaide after a lucrative trade deal with China fell through, according to Today Tonight.
Neighbours to the Mount Compass property said they were malnourished, fed hay, which they don’t usually eat, and drank from muddy ponds.
Nine of the animals had to be put down, but the frustrated local couldn’t do anything about it because the farm didn’t break any laws.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce declared donkey skin a big export opportunity for Australia during trade talks in March
Humane Society animal welfare manager Georgie Dolphin said the farm was a ‘shocking case of neglect’ but not an isolated incident.
‘If donkey farms are being established by foreign investors in order to fuel the demand for the animals’ hides in China, this could create serious animal welfare issues both in Australia and around the world,’ he said.
‘Australia should not be involved in exporting any donkeys to China for this vicious trade.’