Sidmouth charity saves 500 donkeys from Brazil farm
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of donkeys have been saved from slaughter and poor treatment with the help of staff from a Sidmouth charity.
Vets and staff from The Donkey Sanctuary were sent to a farm in Brazil after reports of more than 100 donkeys dying from severe malnourishment and stress.
Upon arrival at the site in Bahia they found ‘appalling’ conditions with sights of donkeys lying dead or close to death and carcasses littering the site as vultures circled overhead.
The charity says the animals are being routinely slaughtered in huge numbers across the globe to meet increasing demand for their skins, as it is urging authorities to take the strongest possible action to ensure that the cruelty in the trade is ended.
Staff have prevented the death of nearly 500 donkeys and remain on site to administer food, hydration and treatment.
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Simon Pope, campaigns manager at The Donkey Sanctuary who led the team in Brazil said: “The donkeys were being kept in appalling conditions, having been transported for days in filthy, airless lorries with no food and water. We cradled small sick foals in our arms as they passed away – foals just a few weeks’ old who should never have been swept up in the skin trade, and whose mothers had rejected them due to stress, or who had died from the effects of it.
“This farm is just the tip of the iceberg. While we were in Brazil, we heard of another three similar farms in the vicinity, all full of donkeys.
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“We spoke to senior figures in authority who said to us that they want the slaughterhouses to stay closed and for the trade to stop.
“But they fear that the injunction will be overturned and the slaughter will begin again. We’re determined to ensure the trade never resumes until such time as it is shown to be humane and sustainable, neither of which it is in any degree at present.”