Yet again, under the excuse of tradition, the Government of Extremadurahas permitted the use of a donkey in the "Corrida de Elecciones" ritual in the village of Villanueva de la Vera in Spain, breaking animal protection laws in the region of Extremadura.
A welfare officer from our Spanish counterpart, El Refugio del Burrito, arrived in the village of Villanueva de la Vera on Tuesday 16th February an hour before the event was to start. He heard some of the villagers commenting about if the donkey would be used or not this year but... at 10 am the donkey was pushed into the crowd from the Town Hall to start the terrible ordeal, with guns being fired just inches from its head and surrounded by a drunken mob.
At one point he even observed two people riding the donkey. El Refugio's welfare officer said: "the poor animal was scared to death from start to finish, and this is an event that I would not like to witness again."
The whole event took 45 minutes and although the donkey did not fall to the ground this year, it had to be held up by the revellers surrounding it.
The welfare officer continued: "The President of Extremadura should be ashamed to have let a defenceless animal continue to be treated in this way. We strongly believe it is time for a change."
El Refugio will keep fighting to get this barbaric use of an innocent donkey banned once and for all and will be taking legal action against the people who allow this cruelty to be repeated year after year.
In order to help them, you can continue to increase their protest campaign and add to the over 7,000 people who have already signed up in support of their cause. Once 10,000 signatures have been collected El Refugio del Burrito will organise a mass protest at the Governmental Offices in Madrid.
The Donkey Sanctuary and El Refugio del Burrito do not receive government grants and depends only on the generosity of their supporters.
Every donation no matter how small is used to help us rescue and care for our donkeys and of course campaign against cruel events like Villanueva de la Vera. With your help we can make a difference!