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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.
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.
El Refugio del Burrito has now rescued 9 neglected and mistreated donkeys that were enduring an unsustainable situation in the province of Alicante. 5 of those are already enjoying their new home at our headquarters in Fuente de Piedra, Málaga.
Right after receiving a video recorded by a Dutch horse rescue association, El Refugio del Burrito was set in motion to help donkeys that were in the same facilities. Fortunately, five of those donkeys are now safe at our sanctuary, a true paradise after the hell they’ve been living.
It was but a few days ago we went to a neighbouring village called Villanueva de Algaidas. to rescue a mule whose owner was very ill and could no longer take care of her.
The mule's name was Pequeña (little one in Spanish), even when she is a large, respectable lady of 32.
When we arrived where she was, we found a little stray dog beside her; he was undernourished and had no collar or any other identification.
El Refugio del Burrito, joined forces with local animal welfare associations Solúcar, PACMA and Ecologistas en Acción and have finally won the battle to stop cruelty against donkeys at The Feria de la Manzanilla, a Festival in Southern Spain, by having the Council ban the use of animals on the beach.
Our mission here at El Refugio del Burrito is mainly concerned with the welfare of donkeys and mules in Spain, but as an animal welfare organisation we are against any form of animal cruelty or mistreatment.
Yesterday, the Catalonian Parliament voted after an ILP (People’s Initiative for Legislation) promoted by animal welfare organizations , The Prou! (enough!) Platform, in particular. This initiative was admitted for voting in the Catalunian Parliament to pass a modification of Animal protection Law in Catalunya to derogue the exception written in the law for bullfighting.
El Refugio del Burrito, with the help and support of The Donkey Sanctuary, UK fights hard to improve the welfare of the working donkey in Spain and performs a multiple approach to educate donkey owners, to train veterinaries and provide treatment to working donkeys, to make holiday makers aware of the situation and to enforce Municipalities to establish Codes of Practice to grant the welfare of donkeys. In Spain you can find some sort of donkey taxi in most of the touristic destinations, being the most known the Donkey Taxi in Mijas (Malaga).
Various organizations denounce, once again, the illegal donkey rental on Sanlúcar's beach during the 2009 Manzanilla Festival. This year, we have presented our denouncement at the Guardia Civil headquarters.
El Refugio del Burrito from Málaga, The Solúcar Animal's Friends Association, The Anti-bullfighting Party Against Animal Cruelty and Ecologists in Action, have presented a joint denounce at the Guardia Civil's headquarters against the use of donkeys on the beach for such an illegal activity as their rental for strolls along the beach.
In 2006, the agricultural department of the Andalucían Government introduced new regulations that ordered the identification, possession and farming of equines to be recorded in a register known as 'El Registro de las Explotaciones Ganaderas Equinas' (Equine Farm Register). These new regulations require microchip identification and a 'Tarjeta Sanitaria' (Health Registration Card) for every single mule, donkey and horse within Andalucía, which also includes all stables where the equines are kept to be recorded in the new register (SIGGAN).