I work for Markettiers and currently we are working with the Brooke Charity. They have released a code of conduct in regards to horse and donkeys abroad particularly in Jordan and Egypt, so I hoped maybe you could flag this issue?
As we all know in some countries bartering is part of the culture. However, in this current climate, although people are looking for cheaper destinations and holidays overall, Brooke are trying to highlight the difference paying one extra pound, or just not bartering down to the lowest price, can make to the donkey. In short, the lower the price a tourist pays, the longer that donkey will be made to work so the keeper can make enough money to survive. Another aspect of the code is simple tips such as not riding on a donkey when you are clearly too big for it, or putting two people on a donkey, as this can cause the animals stress. We have some quite poignant footage also.
If you think you can highlight this story in some way, publish it in full or use the video and write your own editorial, it would be much appreciated.
Thank you in advance, if you have any questions please contact me, or if you think you can use the story in part or in full please let me know so I can keep track of where the information goes.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Life's no beach for holiday donkeys
Shock footage reveals animals are paying the price for cheap rides and overweight tourists
Hundreds of thousands of horses and donkeys are suffering overseas due to tourists, yet many British holidaymakers are unaware of their impact and how to act responsibly when they encounter working animals abroad. While British beach donkeys are regulated - no passengers over eight stone, a day off each week and a one hour lunch break - overseas it is a different story.
Egypt and Jordan have been recognised by the Brooke, the UK's leading overseas equine welfare charity, as popular tourist destinations that widely use horses and donkeys for tourist trade. With recent ONS statistics showing that the number of Brits travelling to Jordan doubled last year and that nearly half a million British people travelled to Egypt within the first nine months of 2008, it is important that British travellers are aware of the issues concerning the use of working animals abroad.
Horses and donkeys are used to taxi tourists across difficult and dangerous terrain to historical landmarks. The animals are often over-worked, under-watered and under-fed, and have the added burden of frequently carrying passengers who are too heavy for them. Haggling is common as credit crunch tourists negotiate rock bottom prices and quibble over the last pound. Owners, whose livelihoods are dependent on these earnings, are often left short changed and are tempted to overwork the animals in their desperation to bring in enough money to feed their family.
The Brooke has released video footage and images from popular British tourist destinations including the Temples of Luxor and the Ancient City of Petra, showing that many tourists disregard the welfare of animals whilst they have fun in the sun.
Click here see the video:
The Brooke is calling on all tourists to take action against this anguish by following a simple code when using working horses and donkeys abroad. Key points include:-
• Match your size with the size of the animal - if you are heavy or tall, think whether a small donkey can really take your weight
• Pay a fair price for a ride - bargaining means the animal will have to work harder and longer to bring in an income
• One person per animal when riding
• The number of people shouldn't exceed the number of wheels when using a carriage horse
• Don't be distracted by decorations - check for hidden sores, wounds or prominent bones
Kimberly Wells, from the Brooke's Animal Welfare Team, who wrote the code states: "It may seem obvious, but it's being ignored. We see first hand the painful results - exhaustion, injuries, dehydration, heat stress, beatings and wounds - overworked animals suffering for tourism.
Tourists can have a hugely positive impact on how communities treat their animals so we are urging them to play their part and work with us to reduce animal suffering across the world. Every tourist has the power to reduce animal affliction - both by following these simple guidelines and also by flagging up concerns to local authorities and tour operators, which will encourage a needed change in poor animal welfare practices."
The Brooke's lifesaving work helps ease animal suffering across the developing world while supporting the livelihoods of the owners who depend on their animals to bring in an income.
For more information or to see the code in full visit www.thebrooke.org/travel