Amazon Donkey meat lawsuit

Amazon Faces Lawsuit For Selling Donkey Meat Products

Not great news for Amazon this week as they are facing a lawsuit that the Center for Contemporary Equine Studies has filed against them for selling products containing donkey meat. Allegedly, the ecommerce giant is selling a gelatin made from the skin of donkeys called “ejiao” in various products like health supplements, which is against California animal welfare law.

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Advocacy groups, like the Brooke USA Foundation, are fighting against Amazon to stop the sale of ejiao, as it contributes to the slaughter and skinning of millions of donkeys each year. Some consumers have also been shocked to discover that products on Amazon claiming to be “100 percent pure, natural herbs” contain ejiao instead.

Amazon Lags Behind Competitors

While Walmart and eBay have already pledged to remove products containing ejiao and prohibit future sales, Amazon has yet to take any action. The lawsuit is aiming to use an obscure law, the 1998 Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act, to stop the sale of ejiao by claiming that donkeys are equine animals.

Wired conducted an analysis of 1,000 products containing ejiao or that included terms like “donkey hide,” and found that at least 15 edible items contained the gelatin, and at least four were available to ship directly from Amazon warehouses.

The Pegasus Foundation estimates that 8 to 10 million donkeys are killed and skinned each year to meet the demand for ejiao. A 2019 report by The Donkey Sanctuary found that “cruel and often illegal treatment of donkeys by local traders is rife.”

The lawsuit is calling on Amazon to immediately ban ejiao, and if the court rules against the retailer, the company could potentially face fines of $1 million per each day a transaction involving the gelatin occurs in California. The Brooke USA Foundation states that curbing product availability could impact the economic gain of those involved in the manufacture of ejiao, both legal and illegal suppliers.

At the time of writing Amazon has yet to comment on the matter.

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