13 May, 2024 @ 11:21
1 min read

Protests in Mijas over ‘donkey taxis’ for tourists: Activists demand an end to ‘exploitation’ of the ‘emblematic’ animal

ACTIVISTS are demanding an end to ‘exploitative’ donkey taxis in Mijas, as they defend the ‘emblematic’ animal. 

A hundred people from the Spanish Animal Rights and Environmental Party (PACMA) held the protest this Sunday, May 12. 

They were objecting to the use of ‘donkey taxis’ where the animals are used to transport tourists around the area. 

“The animals are made to work 365 days a year under extreme conditions with no concern for their health,” said PACMA vicepresident and EU election candidate, Cristina Garcia. 

READ MORE: Heavy riders to be BANNED from riding donkeys in Spain’s Mijas come 2020

The protest used the slogan ‘cut their cord’
Photo: PACMA/X

“Mijas has to evolve and offer tourists a service and way of getting to know the area that is respectful to animals. The Mijas donkeys are emblematic and they have to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Now, the animal rights group wants to ‘end animal exploitation in Mijas’ and ‘improve’ conditions if the donkeys continue to be used as ‘mere transporters’. 

They have reportedly put forward a ‘number of alternatives’ to end the practice, maintaining jobs and tourism in Mijas ‘without exploitation’. 

However, dialogue between animal activists and the donkey drovers is ‘basically non existent’, Garcia recognises. 

‘Stunted’ talks with the town hall have also been going on ‘for years and years’, meeting with ‘all possible government entities’ but no agreement reached. 

“The response has always been the same,” said Garcia. 

READ MORE: Donkey taxis slammed as ‘chronic mistreatment’ in Mijas on Spain’s Costa del Sol

According to the PACMA vicepresident, they show willingness to act, improve conditions and modify municipal codes, but they are ‘always empty promises’. 

Despite this, they claim the town hall continues to defend the ‘burro-taxis’, with some PACMA members even receiving ‘physical threats’ as a result of their opposition. 

Many Mijas residents, like Adoracion Ponferrada also attended the protest.

She told EFE: “The donkeys don’t have a place to rest where they can lay down, but it doesn’t matter to the drovers, they just want to exploit them.” 

The Mijas local claims she has passed through the square where the donkeys are held many times and noted how the young donkey drovers were ‘on their phones, they don’t care about the donkeys’. 

Another resident, Elena Girbal, urged Mijas council to ‘evolve’, saying: “They need to empathise with the animals, they are living beings that feel and suffer.”

“It is shameful that a town this beautiful has such a terrible image. Some people don’t visit because of it.”

READ MORE: Donkey taxis undergo biannual MOT check in Mijas on Spain’s Costa del Sol

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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