Burros abroad

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1997:

In a desperate March 13 fax, Animal
Responsibility Cyprus asked for help in determining
and perhaps averting the fate of about 2,500 burros who
are to be removed from a herd estimated at 3,000, now
roaming the Turkish-occupied Karpasia area. Terming
the burros “part of the disappearing fauna of Cyprus,”
ARC indicated suspicion that the burros might end up
going to slaughter by an Italian firm abbreviated as
SASS, in either Italy or Turkey. “These are the progeny
of the working burros left behind by their owners
when they fled the 1974 Turkish invasion,” an ARC
press release explained. “Turkish Cypriot environmentalists
in the occupied areas are fighting the play to
destroy the Cyprus burros––please support them. The
illegal regime has no embassies you can approach,” the
release added, “because they are not recognized.


Direct your protest to the Turkish government in
Ankara, or to your local Turkish embassy.”
On the Greek side of Cyprus, unable to help,
British immigrants Patrick and Mary Skinner run a
burro sanctuary where according to Reuters reporter
Michele Kambas, “A total of 36 burros ranging from
sprightly five-year-olds to granddads blind in one eye
and pushing age 40 live a life of luxury in large pens in
the shade of carob trees on slopes above Vouni village
in the wine-producing areas of Limassol district.”
Burro sanctuaries anywhere are so rare that
they can just about be counted on the fingers of one
hand. The oldest sanctuary wholy devoted to burros,
The Donkey Sanctuary, founded by Elizabeth
Svendsen, is actually a chain of parallel facilities
across England and Ireland. The leading burro sanctuary
in the southern hemisphere may be the Good
Samaritian Donkey Sanctuary, established in 1990 by
Christine Berry and Jo-Anne Kokas in New South
Wales, Australia.
Despite the paucity of sanctuaries, symptomatic
of a lack of humane concern, feral burro herds
persist around the world, including in Ireland––where
they might be barely hanging on.
“While 200,000 donkeys roamed the glens
and farmlands two decades ago,” Jonathan Leake and
Mary McKeagney explained recently in The London
Times, “a mere 7,000 remain. In some areas no donkeys
have been seen for years, and some experts fear
for the species’ survival.” Ireland exported about 63
metric tonnes of donkey meat to Europe annually until
the bovine spongiiform encephalopathy panic turned
consumers away from beef early last year––sending
demand for both donkey and horsemeat soaring.

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