Monday, March 10, 2008

Donkey's in China needing help

I received an email from a very impassioned lady in Australia who cares deeply about donkeys. She sent me the following information and I thought we have some great folks that read this who would be willing to help, so I am passing along the information.

I would like to note that they are asking for very POLITE letters. I know how horrible the following information is, but let's just remember none of us want to start a diplomatic problem. So, please remain calm and reasonable in your letters, but let's also not let them off the hook for these horrible atrocities.

I wish to draw your attention to two accounts from Animals Asia Foundation operating from Hong Kong (founder Jill Robinson)

The first is from Jill’s blog and relates to the treatment of donkeys at the live animal market in Maoshan

The horrors of Maoshan - part 2

Friday, February 8, 2008, 10:46 PM

The market also doubles as a slaughterhouse - a round metal drum with orange spikes used for "de-furring" the cats and dogs sits just outside a burning cauldron that will be cooking their meat for customers towards lunchtime.

Close by, truck after truck piled high with white goats begin arriving at the market, while donkeys are being dragged out of sheds and loaded into cages, trucked off to be slaughtered elsewhere. Frightened and exhausted, several have no strength to rise to their feet and the traders kick them in the stomachs and beat their backs with metal poles until they can stand the agony no more and rise on shaking legs. Even then, the abuse continues and the traders continue beating them and grabbing their tails, painfully twisting them into knots, and forcing the donkeys to climb up the metal ramps into the cages.

The second relates to the upsurge of the ‘spectator sport’ of horse fighting. Below is the position paper form Animals Asia

Horse fighting

Animals Asia position paper

February 2008: Animals Asia investigators first witnessed the horrific spectacle of “horse-fighting” back in 1997 when we visited Xili Lake Safari Park in Shenzhen, southern China and documented a cruel and astonishing event. Today the practice continues despite our protests to the Government whenever we hear of its re-occurrence in safari parks and zoos across the country.

The practice of horse-fighting originates from a tradition of the Miao minority, who live in southwest China. According to legend, it began about 500 years ago, when two young men fell in love with a beautiful girl. The King of Miao decided to organise a horse-fighting competition so that the winner could then marry the girl in question. Today, especially in the Miao community, horse-fighting has become a regular event to celebrate the Miao New Year during November of each year. However, Animals Asia has found that government officials in Guizhou now actively encourage this cruel event in order to attract tourists, to “help the people to get rid of poverty”. Although not so widespread or popular, it is clear that horse-fighting occurs to entertain the visitors and tourists – and other areas such as Guangdong encourage its existence.

Generally, a mare is induced into season through the injection of hormones. She is led out into a ring that contains two roped and tied stallions and paraded in front of them for several minutes in order for them to pick up her scent. Goaded into sexual excitement the two stallions are then released and begin fighting with each other almost straight away while the mare stands just a few feet away. These fights are clearly occurring daily as evidenced by bruised and bloody wounds each time they are led out into the ring. The fights are allowed to continue for several minutes, with the horses relentlessly kicking and biting each other, until one finally runs from the ring. Other, even more disturbing, stories describe a stallion completely restrained while another kicks it to death.

With the “Green” Olympic Games just around the corner, the practice of horse-fighting is in appalling contrast to the message of living harmoniously with nature. The effect of witnessing such barbarity – particularly on children – is hard to imagine. If we want our children to grow up as caring, compassionate adults surely there are better ways of teaching them than this.

This is a repulsive spectacle by any stretch of the imagination and we urge supporters of Animals Asia to write swiftly to their local Chinese Embassy decrying such a cruel form of so-called entertainment. Embassy addresses can be found at:

Re the donkeys I have been in contact with a number of agencies and in addition to long term projects being run in China all encourage the writing of polite letters to the government.

No comments: