The Donkey Sanctuary's partnership with Eurogroup for Animals launched an important project to ensure the EU’s 6 million horses and 1.5 million donkeys are covered by species specific legislation. In 2015 the recommendations were published in a ground breaking report titled "Removing the Blinkers". Recently we were delighted to hear from Eurogroup for Animals that MEP Julie Girling's report on Equine welfare has been adopted by the European Parliament.
Here in Cyprus, although we now receive less donkey welfare complaints, mainly due to our Outreach work and owners contacting us for advice, we still see a high number of donkeys kept in dangerous, totally unsuitable conditions without the basic necessities available such as water, shelter and general care. Although legislation is in place to prevent animals suffering and being negelected, it is extremely rare that it is ever enforced.
Through our Outreach Programme we visit more and more donkeys each year and in the vast majority of situations where advice and support is required, the owners willingly make improvements. Most often, lack of knowledge is all that needs to be addressed but there are always a few who don’t. As we have no legal jurisdiction, this is when we need the Government and Police to act. We provide the necessary factual evidence in these rare cases but till find it incredibly difficult to get any action taken.
Following Julie Girling’s report, we will be collating evidence of donkeys living in awful conditions and send them to the Government to push for more effective action.
If you see any donkeys or mules you are concerned about, please contact us and take photos. Not only do they help us determine if an investigation is needed, but if a severe situation, we have evidence from the beginning. You can also complete our Donkey’s in Distress Checklist online on our website and upload any photographs. Please help us help the donkeys.