Growing concerns for the welfare of donkeys and mules promoted as "Donkey Taxis" in European countries (mostly in Spain and Greece) has prompted The Donkey Sanctuary to set up an awareness campaign to prevent their exploitation.
There are some Donkey Taxi operators who provide an acceptable level of care to their animals, but sadly the majority see their animals for profiteering purposes and completely disregard their welfare. With continuous support from the tourists who use the service, the operators are insensitive to the suffering they cause.
The Donkey Sanctuary believes that the animals used suffer both day and night. During the day, they are exposed to temperatures of up to 100 degrees, with little or no shelter, inadequate food and water, overweight passengers and steep ascents on poor footings, and abysmal harnessing made from scrap rope and garden hosepipe, which cause hair loss, deformities and horrendous chaffing wounds. At night, the animals are often hobbled (rope tied around their feet to prevent them from walking off) or they have little or no bedding causing irreparable damage to their knee joints and bald patches on their legs.
The Donkey Sanctuary is also aware of operators subjecting their donkeys and mules to cruel and harsh treatment.
The Donkey Sanctuary implores those tourists travelling to European countries that should they come across a Taxi establishment, not to use the service unless they feel that the animal is strong and healthy and that an adequate level of care is provided to them.