In December 2014, Platero, a donkey of only four months, died in Lucena during a Bethlehem display. In front of several witnesses, the man kicked the donkey. This allegedly caused the death of the animal, a few days later, due to injuries of the spine and internal organs.
With the aim of preventing repetitions of what happened during Christmas 2014, El Refugio del Burrito recently demanded a ban from the City Council of Lucena on the presence of any animal in the living Bethlehem. Our petition was supported by over 17.000 people and donkeys were removed from this year’s display. However, the show still went ahead with other animals. This practice puts animals at risk and implies that the use and exploitation of animals for entertainment purposes is justified.
We have also filed a complaint against the man that allegedly caused the death of young Platero and another complaint against the City Council for alleged ommission of care. The first complaint was initially filed, but we managed to re-open it. According to the reform of the Criminal Code of July 1 2015, animal mistreatment is an offence that can be punished with 18 months of prison and disqualification from working with animals.
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El Refugio del Burrito investigates cases of negligence, abuse, mistreatment and abandonment of donkeys and mules throughout Spain. There close to 300 animals living in the farms of El Refugio del Burrito, while in 2015 the organization participated in 55 investigations and collected over 60 donkeys and mules. Besides, El Refugio del Burrito actively engages in those causes that urge the application and improvement of law and regulation regarding animal welfare