Sunday, April 06, 2008



After scoffing down a generous helping of chips and a few fistfuls of candyfloss, what better way to finish off a day at the seaside than with a donkey ride?

Well, not for a greedy child over 8 stone it's not. (A stone equals about 20 pounds)

New welfare rules have been introduced that ban obese children from hulking their ample frames onto the back of the sturdy little animals.

But the new donkey rights don't end there.

Holiday in Blackpool: Taking a ride along the beach has been a staple of the quintessential English beach holiday.

The animals must have at least one day off a week and have an hour's rest at lunchtime or early evening.

The beach donkey rules were issued today in a code of practice drawn up by the animal's welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary, and the British Equine Vet's Association.

The first copy of the code will be handed to the Mayor of Blackpool, Peter Callow.

The resort has the highest number of working donkeys with 200 plying their trade on the sands each summer.

The code is designed to standardize the level of care and welfare given to the donkeys across Britain.

Blackpool already has its own Donkey Charter dating back to 1942 that covers many of the areas involved in the new code.

The 200 donkeys are also given an equine "MoT" by vets each Spring before they are allowed to start work.

Public protection chairman at Blackpool, Councillor Henry Mitchell; "It is 66 years since we recognized the need that these animals needed protecting against some owners who would work them day and night if they could."

"The new code endorses what we do already and gives us the backing of two powerful organizations."

Donkey Sanctuary welfare chief Martin Taggert said: "We already see an excellent standard of care for beach donkeys including those at Blackpool."

"The code will help other local authorities to make sure the same standard is applied nationwide."

"The code will also provide a resource of advice and support to those working with donkeys or setting up new businesses."
It would be nice if in the United States there was a law changing donkeys, actually equines in general from farm animals, "ie", livestock to companion animals. Then the level of care & treatment required would be more in line with what is required for dogs & cats. I don't know if the law will ever be changed, the ranching, farm industry doesn't want the change & I can actually see their point. Believe me I am not for more regulations overseen by bureaucrats either. But when I see a horse standing day after day in a small pen with no shelter, I know there needs to be changes made.

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