NMDA POLICY STATEMENT ON MISUSE OF ANIMALS
NMDA, in its mission to protect the breed and speak on behalf of all donkeys, believes any activity that inflicts unnecessary stress, pain or other cruel or abusive treatment on a donkey is unacceptable. This includes, but is not limited to "donkey roping", "donkey basketball" and donkey baseball. NMDA encourages anyone who is aware of or witnesses this inappropriate exploitation of the animal, to take a stand against these forms of tawdry ³entertainment". The gentle, trusting personality that the donkey inherently exhibits should never be betrayed by acts of gratuitous cruelty.
Board of Directors
National Miniature Donkey Association
"Donkey Ball/Donkey Roping"
Donkey ball is generally performed as a fund raiser in schools, mistakenly thought to be amusing entertainment. Oversized/overweight adults get on the backs of these small donkeys and attempt to play the game of basketball or baseball. This is cruel and dangerous for the donkeys and a very poor message to convey to the pupils who witness this obvious disregard for animals.
No donkey/mule shall carry excessive weight in consideration of the size, age and physical condition of the animal and the following guidelines should be borne in mind:
- Small donkeys/mules (under 102 centimetres in height to shoulder) - only children under 50 kilos.
- Medium donkeys/mules (between 102 to 112 centimetres in height to shoulder) - weight limit of 63 kilos.
- Very large donkeys/mules (over 112 centimetres in height to shoulder) - weight limit of 76 kilos.
From "The Professional Handbook of the Donkey" by Elisabeth Svendsen)
Donkey roping is similar to team-roping steers. Donkeys are used over and over again for teams of ropers as "sport". The ropers consist of a "header" and a "heeler" which forms a team. The header ropes the head/neck of a donkey, the heeler then ropes the back legs of the donkey. Once stretched out tight, the stopwatch is stopped and time recorded. Donkeys are not built physically to withstand roping, unlike cattle. Donkeys will suffer the long-term effects - both mental and physical scars. Chasing, roping and jerking these gentle, terrified creatures to the ground in front of cheering crowds is morally reprehensible.
NMDA believes because there is so little general information available to most of the public that this may be one of the reasons that donkeys can be considered disposable and mistreated in a variety of ways. Please share this information with your local humane societies or law enforcement personnel so that people involved in animal welfare become aware of the nature these gentle creatures possess before a problem arises. With this knowledge in hand they may be better prepared to face cruelty issues concerning donkeys in the future.
For more in depth information regarding donkey roping, donkey basketball and donkey baseball, contact NMDA on this site to request a complimentary copy of the ASSET, Summer 2009 edition.
"If you have men who will exclude any of Godıs creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
— St. Francis of Assisi