The Donkey Sanctuary is calling for an end to the use of a donkey in the Peropalo festival in Villanueva de la Vera, Spain. This tradition centres around a donkey being taken through the narrow village streets being ridden and led through drunk crowds who also fire shotguns and bang drums next to the animal.

In the small town of Villanueva de la Vera in Spain, an annual festival is about to take place. The event, known as Peropalo, sees a small, scared donkey being dragged unwillingly through the packed streets, surrounded by a baying crowd and carrying a local drunk man on its back.

The donkey struggles to stay on its feet on the steep cobbled streets, and frequently slips and falls. For over an hour, hundreds of people surround the frightened donkey, pushing, jostling and shouting. The noise is deafening and the crush is terrifying. And all this in the name of culture and tradition.

Peropalo is no place for a donkey

We recognise that it is important to maintain traditions, but not where they cause unnecessary harm to animals. The governing authorities for Villanueva need to act and stop the use of a donkey at the Peropalo festival.

Cruelty like this has no place in a modern, forward-looking Spain. Over 30 years ago, our founder Dr Svendsen, was personally involved in rescuing one of the Peropalo donkeys, Blackie Star. This donkey spent the rest of its days at our sanctuary in Devon.

30 years on, and every year a donkey has to go through what Blackie had to endure. We think that thirty years is too many and we’re determined that donkeys won’t have to suffer in the future.

Stand with us and the Peropalo Donkey

Along with our partners, El Refugio del Burrito, in Spain, we’re asking for your help. Sign our petition calling on the regional authorities in Extremadura to keep the tradition of Peropalo but stop the cruelty by ending the use of a donkey in the festival.

We’ll take the petition to a meeting with the authorities and make the case for change in Villanueva.

Act now - sign our petition

Please add your name to the petition and stand with us and the Peropalo Donkey.