Here in my small donkey family in the Costa Blanca, four animals – two jennets and their now grown up foals, one jack and one jennet – live a quiet and secure life in a small field. My vet says they are the best kept donkeys in Spain. A few days ago (while I was at work) my neighbour heard some English tourists passing by and remarking that these were “surprisingly well-kept donkeys” for Spain…
Yes. We know the difference. Just one kilometre up the road from my four pampered, glossy coated, affectionate donks, there is a wild-eyed traumatised donkey living in a cage of old bedsteads and bits of corrugated iron. He brays and jumps about wildly when I stop to say hello, because my visits are the only conversation he ever gets (with a few carrots to show friendship). I reported this when his roof fell in, and the Policia Local forced the owner to repair the cage; but beyond that, they do not see his confinement as animal abuse. Here in Spain the standards are different. They should not be.
The Donkey Sanctuary today reports the latest findings in its observations of donkey treatment in Mijas, a long way south from here, but still the same problems of abuse in this country that has a bad history of mistreating donkeys. Please take a look at the Donkey Sanctuary news of their observations here. The way these animals are treated is a total disgrace. No British tourists should give their support to these abusers of animals, and the Mijas council should close the whole trade immediately. There are Spanish animal welfare groups but they are more focused on other problems (e.g. bullfighting and hunting dogs). They need to see what is happening and stop donkey abuse. I will be raising the matter again locally.
If you read Mary’s comment below, it relates to a blogpost on my previous blog, here: https://brotherlapin.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/animal-abuse-alert/
6 thoughts on “Mijas donkey abuse exposed by the Donkey Sanctuary”
That poor donkey I feel sad for it.
There are many donkeys out there whose pain and troubles we will never know. When we see abuse we must not turn a blind eye. We must act. These are gentle creatures of great intelligence and we owe them a duty of care.
Bedstead Donkey still haunts me. I know you said you can’t start a rescue, but if you can think of any other way to help him, I would be happy to fund it. Please contact me by e-mail if you think of something.
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Hi, Mary. The “bedstead donkey” still remains very much in my thoughts too. I passed him again yesterday and stopped to say hello and give him a carrot. He lives a very solitary life and the confined space is entirely unsuitable. The people who own him live in a shack opposite. When a say shack, I mean a self built single story house of the sort one might see in a Brazilian favela, made out of found materials. They are obviously very poor. I spoke to the man about three years ago when the donkey was staked outside, as it used to be on occasion, but I have not seen it outside the bedstead cage for a long while. Some people say they have seen it outside, but I haven’t. I’ll get some updated photos and describe the situation again soon.
I too have great concerns – just on the psychological cruelty of leaving the donkey alone and confined in a small space, but the police are clear that no offence is being committed, so action is limited by that. The donkey may be liberated by offering to purchase him, as the people are poor, but there are real practical issues with putting another male in with my male, even if I had the funding to do a rescue. I need to look at it all again really. Thanks for taking an interest and your generous suggestion will be be a factor in thinking of a possible rescue and future placement.
Hi Gareth–I went ahead and set up a continuing donation to El Refugio del Burritos, so at least one positive thing has come out of this situation. 🙂
That’s a very generous move, and I’m glad my equusasinus blog has helped the Malaga sanctuary. I intend to visit them soon but I need to get donkey sitters whenever I go away.