Donkeys may be gaining new protections in Brazil and the African Union as both are taking steps to ban the cruel slaughter of donkeys for their skins.

Reports indicate that almost five million donkeys are slaughtered each year due to the growing demand in China for ejiao (pronounced eh-gee-ow).

Ejiao — a type of collagen that comes from donkeys’ boiled skins — is unnecessarily used for glue, beauty products, and snack foods.

Brazil has recently passed a bill banning both donkey and horse slaughter. Pending review by the parliamentary constitution and justice committees, it will hopefully become law.

Brazil’s bill to protect donkeys recognizes donkeys as sensitive, sentient animals deserving of protection. It also recognizes their cultural significance.

The African Union now appears to be considering a 15-year ban on donkey slaughter and skin export.

Some African countries have already banned the donkey skin trade and closed Chinese-owned donkey slaughterhouses. As African countries currently host about two-thirds of the world’s donkeys, the recent momentum in banning ejiao across the entire African Union is encouraging.

Lady Freethinker is encouraged by the steps Brazil and the African Union are making to protect gentle donkeys.

The United States is still a major importer of ejiao, and Lady Freethinker is encouraging Congress to ban products made from donkey hide.

A ban in the United States would decrease demand for a product that forces donkeys to walk hundreds of miles with no food, water, or rest before suffering brutal transportation and violent slaughter.

Sign our petition urging legislators to revive and quickly pass the Ejiao Act, which would help save the lives of countless donkeys and protect them from serious pain and suffering.