A Spanish town has banned donkey ‘carousels’ after The Donkey Sanctuary lobbied the authorities against it.
The carousels, where donkeys and ponies are tied by their heads to a fixed turntable and forced to walk round and round in a circle carrying children on ‘rides’, are a feature of many Spanish towns during festivals and fairs.
But these live animal fairground-style rides have been stopped in Algeciras, Gibraltar, southern Spain, thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary’s Spanish branch, El Refugio del Burrito.
Last weekend, 7th and 8th of June 2014, El Refugio del Burrito, following its mission of helping donkeys and mules all over Spain, has been present at this year’s “El Rocío” to help protect the welfare of the equines at the festival, and to prevent their mistreatment. “El Rocío” is one of the biggest Spanish festivals and the biggest, most crowded pilgrimage in the country. Thousands of people, and animals, flock to this particular spot in South West Spain to participate in this religious festival.
In response to new evidence of suffering experienced by animals working abroad in the tourism industry, The Donkey Sanctuary is urging UK tourists to “Take STEPS” to avoid participating in acts of animal cruelty this summer.
Donkeys and mules in tourist hotspots, such as the Greek island of Santorini, are commonly used as taxis, carrying passengers or luggage. An independent report produced last year1 revealed that many of these animals are forced to carry overweight passengers and are denied access to shade, water and rest for hours at a time. Poor quality saddles and bridles are often used and safety guidelines are regularly ignored, placing tourists at risk of injury.
When last June ERB received a call from Los Caballos Luna, horse rescue center, denouncing the bad state that a group of 40 equines were in an illegal farm in Callosa de Segura, Alicante, we couldn´t have ever imagined that it would take us more than 7 months to take them out of there and bring the owner to justice.
Emaciated donkeys and horses tied up with short chains 24 hours a day, with no access to water and fed with rotten vegetables when they were lucky, very overgrown hooves and terrible hygienic conditions is what we found when we first checked the farm.
We’d like to tell you about Dani. Dani is one of the first to have benefitted from our Donkey Assisted Therapy Programme at Córdoba since it started almost 5 years ago now. He is a nice young man who loves donkeys so much he managed to fulfil a dream of his.
Queremos compartir con todos vosotros la historia de Dani. Dani es uno de los primeros chicos que se unió a nuestro programa de TAA en Córdoba, hace ya 5 años. Se trata de un jovencito con tal adoración por los burritos que, por ellos, ha realizado uno de sus sueños.
Not long ago, we had a phone call from one of our supporters at The Donkey Sanctuary headquarters in the UK, telling us about the bad conditions some donkeys were facing at a ranch in Catalonia.
The place is called Rancho Mestres and we are pressing legal charges against them. Five donkeys were kept there without the care or proper facilities these animals need. Their hooves were in a terrible state (in fact one of the donkeys has needed prosthesis to be able to walk properly) and they were left without food for days. There is an animal that is actually in real danger still.
It is our firm wish to keep you up to date with the cases we deal with at El Refugio del Burrito. We’d like to let you have an update on the Alicante rescue case, the largest we have faced since we started our work in Spain. It was in Callosa de Segura, in the Alicante province, where we discovered that a dealer had about 49 horses in deplorable conditions. Tied 24 hours a day, locked and with limited access to food and water; literally starving. We were able to rescue 9 donkeys we found there.
Our sister charity, The Donkey Sanctuary (Cyprus), were recently contacted by a young couple, who were in Cyprus on holiday, if they would like them to make a short video about the charity. Cyprus told us “ James and Katia Bebbington are both international freestyle kayak competitors and we were curious to find out what their interest in donkeys was. Apparently, although they have some sponsorship for their sport, they needed to have some income and so James had started by videoing his sport which then developed into producing videos.
Apache’s arrival has been the one of the most expected ones ever here at El Refugio del Burrito. He was the one donkey we had to leave behind during the course of our biggest rescue case in Alicante a few months ago; because he was so weak and his hooves were in such dreadful condition he was unable to travel. He stayed at a holding base in Murcia not far from Alicante, where he has been recovering prior to travelling to his brand new home at El Refugio del Burrito’s headquarters. We are happy to announce he has already joined our big happy family in Fuente de Piedra.