5 Things You Need to Know About Donkey Rides

Posted by on July 8, 2024 | Permalink

Is your local summer fair offering donkey rides? Keep away from this abusive activity that sends children a disturbing message about how to treat living, feeling beings. Donkeys are gentle, sensitive animals who deserve respect – they should never be used as live carnival equipment.

Here are five reasons why it’s wrong to ride donkeys and what you can do to end this exploitation.

Being Carted to Fairs Is Stressful

Donkeys used in fairs are subjected to the physical and psychological stress of transport, sometimes over long distances, when hauled from one event to the next. This is extremely tiring and distressing for equines, who must continually keep their balance in moving vehicles.

Loud Noises Can Frighten Animals

Donkeys are sensitive, cautious animals, who can become upset, alarmed, or panicked when surrounded by loud, excited crowds. Because a donkey’s natural response to unfamiliar environments is often to freeze, frustrated or unruly riders have been known to prod, kick, or scream at them, compounding their stress. Other donkeys may bolt or kick when afraid, putting them and others at risk of injury.

Donkeys Are Not Toy Cars

Making donkeys carry humans or equipment can put unnecessary strain on their back and joints.

Riding Donkeys Is Speciesist

Forcing donkeys to plod in endless circles while hauling fairgoers on their back teaches children that animals are something, not someone who deserves respect. Learn more about speciesism and how to help end it.

There Are Countless Other Ways to Have Fun

There’s never any need for children to ride donkeys – there are so many cruelty-free ways to entertain little ones. Check out PETA’s guide to animal-friendly days out for families and anyone else looking for a fun excursion.

What You Can Do

  • When you ask – they listen: If your local summer fair’s programme includes donkey rides, get in touch with the organisers and politely urge them to cancel the plans and commit to never featuring live-animal attractions at any future events.
  • Educate your friends and family: Share this blog with everyone you know.
  • Take urgent actions: Use PETA’s rapid action page to help donkeys who are used for entertainment or abused in other ways.