Donkey Meat From Amazon Is Off the Dinner Table in California

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Amazon is done making an ass of itself, and making snacks out of ass, as the digital marketplace will no longer sell edible donkey meat in California. The online retailer will not allow Californians to buy hundreds of donkey-based snacks listed on the platform as part of a settlement, according to Wired. But don’t worry, you can still buy them in the 49 other states.

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A quick Amazon search for “ejiao” will result in hundreds of products containing gelatin made of donkey hide. In 2019, The Donkey Sanctuary reported the ejiao trade was responsible for nearly 5 million donkey deaths, and contributes to their decimating global population. The trade became a $7.8 billion industry in 2020, and Amazon has raked in some of those profits through the sale of ejiao on its platform. Donkey skin was historically considered a delicacy that promotes wellness. Many ejiao products on Amazon prominently feature the wellness benefits, but not the part saying they contain donkey meat.

The Center for Contemporary Equine Studies, a nonprofit organization fighting for horse and donkey rights, filed a legal complaint against Amazon in February, claiming the sale of ejiao violated a California law that probits the slaughter and sale of horsemeat for human consumption. The Center says donkeys are in the equine family, so horsemeat includes donkeys.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

In the settlement, Amazon reportedly said it will “undertake reasonable best efforts” to prevent the sale of products containing ejiao to California addresses. The company has faced criticism in the past for faulty or illegal products being sold on its website. Amazon previously sold its drivers’ urine packaged as an energy drink, a stunt pulled by Oobah Butler to prove a point about the company’s unfair working conditions. A Wall Street Journal investigation in 2019 found that 4,100 products sold on Amazon were declared unsafe by federal agencies.

Almost none of the products containing donkey meat on Amazon prominently disclose that fact. Tuesday’s settlement means California residents will be still able to view these products and add them to their Amazon cart, but not be able to check out with a California address, according to Wired. As for the other 49 states, donkey meat can still be at your doorstep before Christmas, if you order today.