A Spanish town has banned donkey ‘carousels’ after The Donkey Sanctuary lobbied the authorities against it.
The carousels, where donkeys and ponies are tied by their heads to a fixed turntable and forced to walk round and round in a circle carrying children on ‘rides’, are a feature of many Spanish towns during festivals and fairs.
But these live animal fairground-style rides have been stopped in Algeciras, Gibraltar, southern Spain, thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary’s Spanish branch, El Refugio del Burrito.
Felipe Macaira, welfare officer, says: “It’s great news that the carousels will be banned. We wrote letters to the authorities asking for them to be banned after we got a lot of complaints about the donkeys and went to investigate and saw how awful and barbaric their conditions were.
“The donkeys and ponies were tied up tightly to the carousel, with their heads in metal cages. They had no freedom to move or to rest and no shade from the sun or peace from the loud music and bright lights. They work up to 12 hours without rest. They’re cramped in and subject to constant loud music and bright lights. Sometimes they can even go blind.”
He adds: “We’re glad that the Algeciras authorities have agreed to ban the carousels but we hope that other towns will follow suit and ban them as well because they are completely inappropriate as a form of entertainment. We also hope that tourists will avoid using these rides and report any signs of abuse to us so that we can try and help.”
El Refugio del Burrito continues to lobby against live animal carousels elsewhere in southern Spain.
Elsewhere in Europe The Donkey Sanctuary is lobbying for better welfare conditions for donkey taxis on the Greek island of Santorini with a petition calling for tourists to Take STEPS against their abuse http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/petition/santorini
To find out more about the work of The Donkey Sanctuary in Spain, El Refugio del Burrito, please visit http://www.elrefugiodelburrito.com/en