November 17, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – Last month, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced the Ejiao Act (H.R. 5203). This bill would restrict trade on all ejiao products made from donkey skins, which are decimating the species’ global population and threatening the impoverished families and communities who rely on them.
“The international trade in donkey-hide gelatin products is leading to the mass slaughter of donkeys and widespread harm to impoverished communities around the world, and Congress should take action to halt all importation of those products into this country,” said Beyer. “More and more people in poorer countries are seeing animals upon which they depend stolen and killed to meet demand from the ejiao trade. The United States should take action and help shut down this illicit trade that leads to substantial harm to humans and animals worldwide.”
Congressman Beyer is working to secure a number of bipartisan co-sponsors for the legislation. “Brooke USA is most grateful to Congressman Beyer and his team for their understanding of the issue which affects humans and animals alike,” said Emily Dulin, CEO of Brooke USA. She added that “this represents a huge win for those living in the developing world as donkeys are a major part of the working livestock sector and support the livelihoods of millions of people.” They directly provide an income and save time and money in transporting goods from field to home to market. Working donkeys also provide vital domestic support. The shock of losing a donkey can destroy a person’s livelihood and push them further into poverty.”
Ejiao is a gelatin used in Chinese medicine, cosmetics, and other luxury products. While it traditionally involves boiling donkey skins, other meats, fish, or plants can be used as an alternative. According to one study published in Science.org, at the current rate, half of the world’s population of donkeys would need to be slaughtered in the next five years to keep up with market demand.
The United States is the third largest importer of ejiao, with $12 million in annual imports each year. The Ejiao Act would prohibit the sale or transport of any ejiao products made from donkey Hide. Complete text of bill can be found here.
To act, please write a message to your U.S. Representative and ask them to support and co-sponsor H.R.5203, the Ejiao Act. Visit www.brookeusa.org/ejiao-act for more information or just call your Representative and simply say, “as someone who cares about horses, donkeys and mules, I urge you to co-sponsor the Ejiao Act, and do all that you can to get it enacted quickly.”
About Brooke USA Foundation (Brooke USA): The mission of Brooke USA is to significantly improve the health, welfare and productivity of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them for survival worldwide. We are committed to sustainable economic development by reducing poverty, increasing food security, ensuring access to water, providing a means to education, and raising basic standards of living through improved equine health and welfare. We accomplish this by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need.
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