A donkey has been saved from working all day at an olive oil press ‘tourist attraction’ thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary who lobbied the authorities against it.
The donkey was used to demonstrate how the historic press worked. It had to walk round and round all day for up to eight hours non-stop without rest or shade. The practice was considered a tourist attraction.
The Donkey Sanctuary’s Spanish branch, El Refugio del Burrito stepped in to help.
Rafael Benjumea, from El Refugio del Burrito explains: “We’re happy they’ve agreed to stop the donkey demonstrating the press temporarily but ideally we’d like it to be stopped altogether.
“Some tourists complained to us about it so we wrote to the Town Hall asking for it to be stopped. They’ve agreed to stop it for now but they do consider it a tourist attraction, just like the ‘donkey taxis’, so they may want it to carry on in some form. In place of the live donkey, a toy donkey could be used to power the olive press or a number of donkeys on rotation, rather than just the one working all day on its own as was previously the case. The situation is under review and we will do everything we can to make sure the donkeys are properly treated.”
The press is located in Mijas, Andalucia, where ‘donkey taxis’ are also a welfare concern. Halting the donkey demonstration is the latest in a series of donkey welfare improvements brought about in Mijas by El Refugio del Burrito. The charity is giving out free quality leather headcollars to all donkey owners in the town to replace old and ill-fitting kit which may have caused wounds and deformities. The team have also provided free donkey welfare courses to all donkey owners and drawn up a new Code of Conduct for donkey taxis owners.
To find out more about the work of The Donkey Sanctuary, and its work in Spain, visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk
Elsewhere in Europe, The Donkey Sanctuary is asking tourists to ‘Take STEPS’ to help working donkeys on the Greek island of Santorini.
Sign the petition here: