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Beyer Introduces Ejiao Sale Ban to Prevent Donkey Slaughter

September 10, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today introduced the Ejiao Act, which would restrict trade on all ejiao products made from donkey skins, which are decimating the species’ global population and threatening impoverished families 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.”

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, at current rates 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 skin. Complete text of bill can be found here.