Recently, we received horrific news from the poverty-stricken community of Bela Bela in northern South Africa. A monster had hacked off a donkey’s back legs.
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We immediately sent a team to find out what on earth was going on. It was so much worse than we expected.
In Bela Bela, it is taken for granted that donkeys will work until they drop. When they get too weak to work, they are killed, usually by being held down and their throats slit with a machete.
A hunt is underway for the monster who hacked off the donkey’s legs but, sadly, such cruelty is not unusual, and the only way to fix it is better law enforcement (which is poor in Bela Bela) and education (which is very poor in Bela Bela.)
Hunger is the immediate problem. Bela Bela is a pit of poverty – people can’t afford food for the donkeys and they are so desperate to earn every cent they can, that they work the animals too hard, not allowing them enough time to graze. The donkeys get weaker and weaker, so the owners whip them to make them work and then the donkeys collapse.
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But there is so much still to be done…
We need to keep feeding and we need to start teaching. If we can raise more money, we will launch an educational outreach program to Bela Bela to teach children that hurting animals is wrong. We also need to raise public awareness about donkey abuse because international pressure is one of the best ways to make the South African authorities clamp down on such flagrant cruelty and abuse.
For the animals,
Brian and Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
Network for Animals
P.S. Thank you in advance for whatever you can afford to help us turn the tide for these poor donkeys. The situation on the ground is horrific. There is so much more to be done.