Archive for February, 2010

Last week ERF’s young male donkey, Vinnie, was successfully castrated. This is the first time that we have had an equine castrated lying down over here, normally they are left standing. Everything went smoothly and Vinnie was soon up on his feet and is now healing up nicely.

Vinnie with John Dobson

If you are interested in becoming Vinnie’s guardian then please contact us at ERF. Vinnie’s new home would need to have other equine company, preferably other donkeys.


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The beautiful and very charming Columbus set off to his new adoptive home in Brittany today, where he’ll live with Lyn and her other 2 horses. We wish them all the very best as they form their new friendship together.

We’d also like to thank Lizzie and Sarah who have been kindly fostering Columbus these past few weeks and who have looked after him so well.

"So you're my new mum then?"

Au revoir beautiful boy...have fun in your new home

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On 16th February 2010,  a helpless donkey will be dragged onto the streets of Villanueva, Spain to make him participate in a ritual that makes him suffer, where he is ill treated and he endures an unnatural and cruel treatment.

Law 5/2002 from the Animal Protection Act of Extremadura forbids these practices that, regretfully, are still carried out with the Council’s complicity and the silence of the Extremaduran Government and the regional press, that hides from the public eye the true nature of this ritual.

Spanish donkey Sanctuary El Refugio del Burrito, along with other welfare groups worldwide want this Law to be enforced.

The law is supposed to prohibit the use of animals in shows, fights, popular celebrations and any other activities which may imply cruelty or ill treatment or make them the objective of unnatural treatment.  All of these cases happen during the Corrida de Elecciones ritual and it is an obligation of the Council’s to enforce this prohibition.

Please sign this online petition to protect the Peropalo Donkey, which will be handed in the Government headquarters in a demonstration that will take place in Merida at the beginning of February.

More information can be found here:

El Refugio del Burrito

Pero Palo


Telegraph article

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It is a well known fact that the Italians like their horsemeat, so much so that they are now the largest consumer of horsemeat in Europe. To meet demand, over 200,000 horses are slaughtered in Italy each year with a high percentage being imported from mainly Poland, Romania and France. Things could all be about to change though as politicians from all parties are considering banning the  slaughter of horses for human consumption.

Francesca Martini, a minster with the Italian health ministry and a member of the ruling Right-wing coalition, has put forward the bill, arguing that the “dignity of horses should be respected”. The motion is already on the desk of the Italian parliament’s culture commission and has won considerably cross party support with opposition centre-Left MPs also backing it.

Also Backing the ban is Italy’s agriculture minister Luca Zaia who says horses should not be eaten and instead “considered just like cats and dogs”. The proposal has been warmly welcomed by the Italian federation for equine sports and animal cruelty charities who said it was “legislation that had been long overdue”.

The proposals have caused uproar in communities where horsemeat is popular who claim that eating horsemeat is part of their culture and right. There are also concerns that should the ban occur while there is still a high demand for horsemeat, that the trade will be driven underground resulting in a black market, as has happened in the Miami area of the US recently.

Let us hear your views on this topical subject…

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Unwanted Horses in America

The link below is to a superbly informative and unbiased article written by Veterinarian Tom Lenz about the problems faced by the horse population in America. Excluding the feral horses, in many ways it echoes problems faced by the horse everywhere. Indeed, it is similar to the UK in as much horses are shipped out of the country to slaughter.

Food for thought.

This quoted paragraph here highlights one of the facts that the average horse owner seems unwilling to accept;
Observational studies conducted in 2001 reveal that “riding” horses make up 74% of the horses processed for meat as opposed to draft or other horse types.

Backed up with this information;
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) export records on US horses shipped to Canadian processing plants in 2002-2005 reveal 70% were western type horses, 11% were English or Thoroughbred type horses, 3.6% were draft type horses, and the rest included various breeds or types of horses or mules.

This suggests that horse owners need to become more responsible about what to do with their individual horses that they no longer want. It’s not just other people’s horses that go for slaughter, it could easily be the horse you sold because it didn’t fit your ambitions or got too old to compete ……… it is up to the individual owner to take responsibility for their horse’s future.

A horse should not be just a commodity.

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This gorgeous 9 month old male donkey,Vinnie, will be available for adoption following his castration this month. He will need a guardian who has the experience to educate him as he grows up, but he is very sweet natured and has been handled since birth.

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This blog has easily accesible lists of all the MEP’s who have signed, or not signed, Written Declaration 54/2009.

Please help circulate it as it makes it simpler to see who still need lobbying.


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