Remove Live Donkeys from Nativity Scene


Target: Juan Pérez Guerrero, Mayor of Lucena, Spain

Goal: Stop using live animals in public nativity display

A five-month-old donkey died two days after it was placed in a nativity scene display in an outdoor mall in Lucena, Spain and was abused by a visitor. A heavyset man entered the pen with the donkeys, which were apparently unsupervised, and proceeded to sit on one of them to pose for a photo. The photo has since gone viral on social media. Two days after the photo was taken, the young donkey, named Platero, was unable to stand up and had to be euthanized.

The police opened an investigation into the case after complaints by Asociación de Defensa del Borrico (Adebo) and the Círculo Animalista de Podemos Lucena, two animal rights advocacy groups. The town hall has announced that it intends to prosecute the man if a veterinarian’s autopsy finds that injuries consistent with being sat on contributed to the donkey’s death. However, the city has made no effort to remove the remaining donkey from public display, leaving it vulnerable to similar abuse.

When placed in a hectic environment such as a busy outdoor strip mall during holiday shopping season, animals can experience extreme stress. They can be exposed to excited children who have not yet learned to respect animals, and negligent adults who ignore rules and deliberately cause harm or distress to the creatures.

Without constant supervision, it is almost impossible to ensure the safety and well-being of animals used in public displays. While the nativity scene is an important part of Christmas tradition, live donkeys are not necessary to the display. We, the undersigned, ask that all live animals be removed from the display and that in the future, prop animals are used.


Dear Mayor Juan Pérez Guerrero,

Two days after a grown man sat on its back back, a five-month-old donkey collapsed and had to be euthanized. The donkey was part of a public nativity display in an outdoor mall, and was left unattended with a sign asking visitors not to touch the animals. It was found unable to stand two days after the man sat on it in order to take a photo for his social media account.

Live animals can be put under extreme stress when kept in public displays, and are at risk of injury due to negligent and ignorant citizens. We, the undersigned, ask that the remaining donkey is removed from the display, and that fake animals are used in the future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Andrzej 22 via Creative Commons

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  1. This is typical of Spain. Cruelty and torture of bulls, cruelty and torture of greyhounds, cruelty of animals generally….

    • You need to educate yourself in modern animal cruelty worldwide!!! You must sit in a hole where no news or information on what is going on in your own country reaches you. Or you are simply retarded as most close minded rasists are!! Torture of animals count as hard if they are hidden in “modern” farm factories, universitiy-labs, fashion/film industries (the list never ends) or other secret business.
      Where do you live? Look up any animal organisation and you will be enlightened in the cruelty YOU are responsible of when YOU use leather, wool, eat animal products, ect, etc. NO (!!!)country in the world is excluded or innocent in this animal business.
      I can feel sorry for people like you sometimes, but then I don’t want to waste time an enenrgy on your kind cause I know its useless teaching airheads like you and I’m so sorry for the children around you that will be influenced by your mentality. Bullfights are watched by TOURISTS and over 75% of the spanish population are against it. It’s prohibited (THANKS TO SPANISH ANIMAL LOVERS AND AKTIVISTS!)in several regions in Spain. Bullfights are no worse than the LIFE LONG brutality the milk, meat, egg -industry the MAJORITY of the world is enjoying.
      Bullfights are common and exist in FRANCE, PORTUGAL, Mexico and VERY popular in the USA and they want to start having them there. Open your eyes, Jill!
      I’ve seen CHOCKING documentaries from Australia, USA, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Britain, Germany, Norway, Middle East, Rumania, Asia, there is no end, of ALL kind of animal abuse and so called “tradition”. If you know how to use a computer and the internet there is no excuse for not knowing. Especially if you pretend being an “animal lover”.
      Shame on you for spreading hate against specific countries!
      I’ve heard narrow minded people like
      you before insinuating it’s all about a specific country, group of people or “race”. It’s scary and brings Hitler to mind! Be carefull what oppinions you spread! Get your facts, it’s 2015!

      • sandra bell says:

        You are absolutely correct. I agree with you 100%. The only thing I would suggest would be to refrain from personal attack and insults. I know it is tempting when we who suffer from the knowledge of the myriad atrocities against the innocent lose patience with those who are still clueless and bigoted. We must educate others and change the world by revealing the facts and the truth in an enlightened, articulate manner so they will hear us and want to follow by our example. Indeed, horrific animal abuse is going on in EVERY single country and culture in this world, including the self righteous USA where I live and am constantly taking action for change.

  2. Elizabeth Gonzalez says:

    Live animals shouldn’t used as props!

  3. Sylvia Browning says:

    No donkey should be used in this way. Please protect all donkeys and animals from harm. They are badly treated. Why? Habit, pure and simple.

    Let’s get into the habit of honouring animals instead. Lets begin by treating the animals and birds as we would wish to be treated, with kindness and compassion. To abuse any animal is the worst and most base form of cowardice.

    We love donkeys, for their innocence and their beauty. We want folk to honour them. Why ever not?

    Let us make the world a better place for beautiful donkeys and all innocent and vulnerable animals.


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