Fifteen donkeys have been saved by the Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary from slaughter and taken to its new rescue centre in Northern Italy this week.
The Sanctuary's new rescue centre, Il Rifugio Degli Assineli, based in Salla Biellese in Northern Italy, was called upon by a local charity and asked if the Sanctuary could take care of the donkeys.
Paul Svendsen, Director of European Operations for The Donkey Sanctuary says: “If we were not able to save these donkeys they would have gone for slaughter and would be used for meat such as salami - it’s absolutely awful.”
“We are now finding donkeys are in trouble as farmers no longer use them for work and they are abandoned or even worse.”
“Thankfully we have just finished the initial building work at Il Rifugio Degli Assineli and these donkeys will be the first of hundreds who will find Sanctuary with us at this refuge.”
The 70 acres site in Sala Biellese is part of an initiative by The Donkey Sanctuary to build bases throughout Europe providing refuge to thousands of donkeys and mules in Southern and Eastern Europe. Its location will also help donkeys in Eastern Europe, Greece and other nearby countries.