Another cruel tradition

My Rubí Tuesday blog for today, Shrove Tuesday 2018, is given to publicise the story that the Refugio del Burrito has made public today.  On the day before Lent begins, Spanish tradition (somehow linked with the Catholic religious cycle?) once again gives vent to the sickness in men, where they seem to delight in distressing an animal.  At the end of Lent, we have the glorious role of the donkey in the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  A fitting role for a royal animal.  But today all people everywhere should be outraged by this nasty Spanish tradition.  Read it and sign the petition please.


El Refugio del Burrito is calling for an end to the use of a donkey in the Peropalo festival in Villanueva de la Vera, Spain. This tradition centres around a donkey being taken through the narrow village streets being ridden and led through drunk crowds who also fire shotguns and bang drums next to the animal.

Cruelty is not Culture

In the name of Spanish ‘culture’, a stressed and terrified donkey was forced through the streets this morning (Tuesday 13 February), carrying a fully grown, drunk man from the village of Villanueva de la Vera, as part of the festival, Peropalo.

For over one hour, the donkey named Bernabé, was forced through the packed, cobbled streets of Villanueva de la Vera, surrounded by a baying, intoxicated crowd with shot guns.  For over an hour, hundreds of people surround the frightened donkey, pushing, jostling and shouting. The noise is deafening and the crush is terrifying. And all this in the name of culture and tradition.

Peropalo is no place for a donkey
We recognise that it is important to maintain traditions, but not where they cause unnecessary harm to animals. The governing authorities for Villanueva need to act and stop the use of a donkey at the Peropalo festival.

Cruelty like this has no place in a modern, forward-looking Spain. Over 30 years ago, our founder Dr Svendsen, was personally involved in rescuing one of the Peropalo donkeys, Blackie Star. This donkey spent the rest of his days at The Donkey Sanctuary in the UK.

30 years on, and every year a donkey has to go through what Blackie had to endure. We think that thirty years is too many and we’re determined that donkeys won’t have to suffer in the future.

Stand with us and the Peropalo Donkey
Along with our partners, The Donkey Sanctuary, in the UK, we’re asking for your help. Sign our petition calling on the regional authorities in Extremadura to keep the tradition of Peropalo but stop the cruelty by ending the use of a donkey in the festival.

We’ll take the petition to a meeting with the authorities and make the case for change in Villanueva.

Sign our petition

Another Cruel Tradition

9 thoughts on “Another cruel tradition

  1. We have a quiet life here. We eat, we go for walks, we have dust baths, and we enjoy quiet donkey company and the sound of the wind in the pine trees.

    Some donkeys are not so fortunate as us. We weep for them. Please sign the petition.


  2. Thanks to all for comments and for signing the Refugio del Burrito petition. (It was the Refugio who gave us such great support and advice last summer when Aitana was in such a poor state; and they eventually put us in touch with a good donkey vet to replace our previous one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rubí was not going to write a blog today: it was supposed to be my turn this Tuesday, in order to write a Shrove Tuesday blog. I have allowed space for comments on Rubí’s post and I will shortly upload my Carnival blogpost to mark the end of Ordinary Time.


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