Brooke USA Foundation (Brooke USA) will host its first National Advocacy Days on July 21 and 22 in Washington, DC. These Advocacy Days will serve as a cornerstone of Brooke USA’s 2022 advocacy program focused on banning the import and sale of ejiao in the United States while giving Board members, friends, and supporters the chance to meet with their Members of Congress.
With the demand for ejiao products in China decimating the world's donkey populations, global prices are increased making it difficult for impoverished people to replace killed or stolen donkeys.
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Advocates will be able to educate Congressional representatives about the issues facing working equines and their families in vulnerable communities across the world, especially as it relates to the production of ejiao, a gelatin-based traditional Chinese medicine derived from boiling the hides of donkeys. During the meetings, advocates will seek support for the “Ejiao Act” (H.R. 5203).
This legislation 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.
Advocates will also meet with Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) who serves as the sponsor of the Ejiao Act. At present, Congressman Beyer is working to secure several bipartisan co-sponsors for the legislation, and Brooke USA advocates will be supporting his efforts while visiting Capitol Hill.
Hundreds of millions of people, in some of the most impoverished parts of the world, rely on donkeys for survival, Donkeys are a major part of the working livestock sector and support the livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries from farming to construction to hauling goods.
Unfortunately, with the booming demand for ejiao products in China decimating the world’s donkey populations, global prices have increased. Today, it has become increasingly difficult for owners to replace their animals when they are killed or stolen.
“It is imperative that our nation’s policymakers learn how the shock of losing a donkey can destroy a person’s livelihood and push them further into poverty,” said Katherine Kaneb, Chair of the Board of Directors of Brooke USA.
Thousands of donkeys in developing countries are being killed and their skins sold to China. It is estimated that 4.8 million donkey hides a year are needed to satisfy the demand for ejiao. The United States is the third largest importer of ejiao in the world, valued at $12 million in annual sales. At the current pace, the global donkey population of 44 million could be halved over the next five years.
“We must continue the momentum in the fight against the global donkey hide trade and the devastation caused by the production of ejiao. We will be calling on Members of Congress to leverage their influence and help enact the Ejiao Act,” stated Emily Dulin, CEO of Brooke USA.
“The only way we can do this is by encouraging our friends and supporters everywhere to take action. We ask everyone to address legislators in their district and ask for a ban on the import and sale of ejiao,” added Dulin. Brooke USA provides an easy online platform to write to Members of Congress directly; visit www.BrookeUSA.org/Ejiao-Act today.
For more information on Brooke USA’s Advocacy Days or to join the team in Washington on July 21 and 22, contact Emily Dulin, Chief Executive Officer at Emily.Dulin@BrookeUSA.org.
Press release by Emily Dulin