83p out of every £1 goes directly on donkey welfare and care
Have you ever walked into a shop and looked at a pair of shoes and thought “I like those” and you then look at the price tag and think “no that’s too much”?
I do, quite regularly and my husband will always say “oh just buy them if you want them” but still you walk out of the shop empty handed.
You may be thinking what my point is. Well, look down at the pair of wellies or yard boots you are a wearing and tell me how much they cost... thought as much.
In 2008 we were looking for local harness makers in El Saf brick kilns when I met an elderly man called Salah. I was with Chris Garrett, International Harness Consultant for The Donkey Sanctuary. At that time we knew that the hitching point where the cart is attached to the harness was the main cause of wounds in all the kilns.
The story is familiar, repeated since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in rural Shropshire, where I’m from, and still unfolding here in Rajasthan in the little village of Banmor. The village itself looks old, squeezed in between the busy dual carriageway between nearby cities of Gwalior and Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, and the equally busy rail track. We sit under a tree with local donkey and mule owners. Small tin cups of the rich spicy chai (tea) are passed around and folk start to talk.
We all enjoy seeing pictures of donkey foals exploring and enjoying all that life has to offer, however, what does the future hold for foals once these bundles of fluff begin to grow up? Well the truth of the matter is, it depends.
The life of donkeys in Great Britain can vary wildly between those leading happy, enriched and healthy lives; to those who are provided with just enough to meet their basic welfare needs; and sadly, to those who are forgotten, mistreated and abused through incorrect management, ignorance, neglect or wilful cruelty.
Every donkey that arrives at The Donkey Sanctuary has a story to tell. Knowing the background of the donkeys who come into our care is often an important part of understanding their individual character, behaviour or care needs. Today I would like to introduce you to the story of three very special donkeys called Rocky, Eidie and Jenny.