Il Rifugio degli Asinelli, by statute and politics, is always adverse to buying animals and the appeals in which money is requested for an animal that "otherwise will be slaughtered" are no exception.
Emotionality plays a key role in all these kind of appeals: often they are developed in a way to raise a sense of guilty and, of course, to push on human piety for the animal’s life at the center of the advertisement.
Unfortunately, despite all good intentions, the purchase always favors the market and ends up with the advantage of unscrupulous traders, who have learned how to take advantage of people's sensitivity to profit once again by putting animals’ lives at risk.
The daily reality in the slaughterhouses
The killing of donkeys, horses and other animals for food purposes is the daily reality in slaughterhouses and all the equine meat products on supermarket counters are proof of this. Our country, one of the largest consumers in the world, imports 43% of all the horse meat produced in Europe. Imagine the number of lives behind the percentage: in Italy in 2012 alone, 60 thousand horses were legally slaughtered and it is estimated that about 5 thousand are bred for meat in our country. Among them there are also many foals born in the farms that produce donkey's milk: when they turn nine months and, consequently, are no longer useful to encourage lactation, there are only two possible scenarios for them: to be used for the production of milk themselves, if they are females, or to be slaughtered, for almost all the males.
The Italian Law
The Italian law allows the horse slaughtering: the foals are included, ie the "puppies", which are at least 7 days old, and which are sold to the slaughterhouses for a few euros per kilo. It goes without saying that for the breeder it is much more profitable to sell a foal to good-hearted people for 300 or 400 € and reinvest the money in the breeding of other foals, certain of another gain (less if coming from the sale at the slaughterhouse, greater if the result of a "ransom" or a collection, but always gain) within a year, in a continuous vicious circle. The purchase incentives the reproduction and the reproduction stimulates the number of animals that will end up in the slaughterhouse.
Slaughter is never the only solution
Slaughter is never the only solution. There are many people who contact us because they are no longer able to keep their animal and they ask for help to look for a new family, often due to economic constraints or for having underestimated the real needs of a donkey. We always give our total availability (in terms of resources, time, "face" and everything in our power) to help those looking for a new home to his or her donkeys. Over the years, through the "direct re-homing", we have found home to dozens of donkeys: all of them today live in controlled and reliable accommodations. It is not an immediate solution, often it takes months, but it shows that the bloodless solutions are there and we are here to help people interested in the welfare of their animal, and not in a profit, to find them.
These are the facts: what we can and you can do in practice?
We strongly reiterate what we wrote years ago: the strongest power we have is that one of consumers and buyers. Our ethical choices can change the lives of animals and people and, hopefully, also the future. We do not finance the market, buying meat or buying animals. We are not playing the game of those who mask the act of mercy. We avoid events and fairs where they serve donkey meat and we make our voices heard with politeness and firmness. We raise awareness among our contacts through our example.
Reports of abused or distressed donkeys
To report ill-treatment, abuse or donkeys in difficulty, we kindly ask you to read the information on our website, in the alerts section, and to contact us by phone at (+39) 015 255 18 31. We remind you that, in case of mistreatment or neglect, it is essential to immediately contact the authorities (which are, by law, required to intervene). Sharing on Social Media does not help nor represents an official form of reporting in itself.