Target: President of Extremadura, José Antonio Monago Terraza
Goal: Stop abusing donkeys during the Peropalo festival in Spain
The Peropalo is a celebration that takes place every year in Villanueva de la Vera, Spain. During the festival, a donkey is led through the streets and mistreated by a drunken crowd. The Donkey Sanctuary, an animal rights organization, has been protesting this abuse since 1986, but the horrible practice continues despite their pleas. Add your voice to the thousands who oppose the abuse of donkeys in Spain and sign this petition asking the President of Extremadura to ban animal cruelty in the Peropalo festival.
Representatives of The Donkey Sanctuary have documented the cruel event on their website with photos and reports. What they found was shocking. First, intoxicated villagers bring the animal out into the public, one of them riding on its back while the crowds chant and fire shotguns. Onlookers throw firecrackers at its feet and ring cowbells in its face. The donkey is then dragged from street to street for up to two hours in a display of brazen animal cruelty. At the end of the event, the donkey is led into a locked shed, exhausted and covered in sweat.
During some celebrations, the donkeys die in the crowds as they are crushed and suffocated. While most survive the ordeal, almost all pass out at some point due to exhaustion and fear. When they collapse, they are forced back onto their feet, usually only to fall over again. One charity representative illustrated what he saw during his visit to Villanueva de la Vera in March of 2012: “About 12 minutes in to the procession, the donkey fell, and it took around four minutes before those surrounding it struggled to get it to its feet again…I can only describe what I saw as the worst day of a donkey’s life ever – horrendous.”
Even though the region’s own animal welfare laws forbid the behavior displayed in the festival, the government deems the event a tradition and therefore permits it every year. With enough voices raised, 2013 can be the last year these animals suffer so horrendously. Ask the President of Extremadura to abolish animal cruelty at the festival of Peropalo.
Dear José Antonio Monago Terraza,
Every year in March, the Peropalo festival occurs in Villanueva de la Vera, Spain. During this celebration, a donkey is dragged through the streets of town and abused by a drunken crowd. It is tormented by loud noises, smothered between intoxicated onlookers, and forced to endure situations so stressful it cannot stand due to exhaustion. In the past, crowds abused the animal so severely that it died from being crushed and suffocated. Such blatant cruelty cannot be allowed to persist in your community.
I urge you to abide by the region’s animal welfare laws that protect animals from cruelty. This festival is an unnecessary excuse to exert power over an innocent and defenseless creature, and it is appalling that such an event still occurs. Please abolish the abuse against donkeys in the Peropalo festival and enforce animal welfare laws in your country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Federación de Protectoras de Animales de Extremadura (FEPAEX)