A “perfect storm” of overcrowding, abandonment and Covid-19 is taking the number of donkeys in need of rescue to unmanageable levels, animal welfare organizations have warned.
the Donkey Sanctuary Ireland launched a public call for support this winter to help tackle what it described as a national donkey welfare crisis deepening.
The national charity said across Ireland that the number of donkeys in need of rescue, relocation and care at the sanctuary has reached unsustainable and unmanageable levels.
The animal welfare group said the crisis was “driven by a perfect storm” of chronic and long-term irresponsible breeding, lack of education and awareness and human difficulties caused by Covid-19.
He warns that cases of poor donkey welfare are also overwhelming other charities, such as Hungry Horse Outside, Sathya Sai Sanctuary and My Lovely Horse Rescue.
Donkey Sanctuary Ireland said donkey welfare is a long-standing and growing problem across the country and that between 2018 and 2020, reports of donkey welfare to the charity by the public increased by 44%. 373 per year to 536 per year, while the phone Advice calls increased by 150pc from 641 to 1601 during the same period.
The charity takes care of more than 1,800 donkeys, and although its sanctuary facilities have been full for many years, its teams continue to work in communities across the country to find new homes for donkeys and provide transportation services, vets and welfare.
Commenting on the public appeal, Donkey Sanctuary Ireland country director Laura Foster said: “The factors driving the welfare problems of Irish donkeys are numerous and difficult to resolve. Of course, we will continue to care for thousands of donkeys each year. but working in crisis is unacceptable and unsustainable.In short, we need to address this problem in the long run through better education of owners, national repression of breeding and greater enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act in cases of abuse and neglect.
The charity has set clear guidance on how the public can support endangered animals and charities this winter.
“For donkeys in crisis, we encourage anyone who witnesses a donkey suffering or in poor health, first of all, to contact the national helpline of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, the national cruelty helpline of the ISPCA, the local authority or the local Guard. station, “he said.
“For donkey owners, we call on donkey owners to contact us for information and support on accessing critical donkey welfare services such as blacksmithing and dentistry, as well as advice on castration and other veterinary services. “.
The organization also urged people who are thinking about getting a donkey to contact one of the charities about their relocation before contacting a breeder or buying an animal.
The statement adds that the donkey’s wellness teams are gearing up for an extremely challenging winter.
Hungry Horse Outside director Jacinta Darmon said, “We are drowning in a tide of abandoned, hungry, abused and traumatized donkeys. Our shipyards are full and we don’t have the resources, financial or otherwise, to deal with it.”
“This situation is avoidable. Among other actions, we must end the economic incentives for donkey breeding that have caused many of these animals to suffer, and those responsible not to be held accountable. We also urgently and desperately need cooperative commitment and support of the government, local authorities and the general public across Ireland to end this suffering and save precious time and resources, ”he added.