Veterinary surgeon María Bross checks one of the donkeys. / SUR

British-run organisation ensures welfare of Mijas donkey taxis

Founded by Katy Darlow in 2019, the organisation, which works in conjunction with the town hall, strives to improve the overall welfare and living conditions of the 61 working donkeys currently active in Mijas Pueblo

Tony Bryant
TONY BRYANT

The British-run Mijas Donkey Movement was out on the streets of Mijas this week in order to inspect the town’s donkey taxis to make sure that their owners are meeting the animal’s health and safety protocol.

Founded by Katy Darlow in 2019, the volunteer-run organisation, which works in conjunction with the town hall, strives to improve the overall welfare and living conditions of the 61 working donkeys currently active in Mijas Pueblo.

The association’s veterinary surgeon, María Bross, visits the animals every six months to check their weights and to make sure that they are not injured or suffering in any way, while also re-hoofing the donkeys when necessary.

The town hall began its partnership with the entity in 2020 in order to ensure the “total transparency” with regards to the donkeys’ wellbeing, and has so far implemented several actions suggested by the veterinary surgeon to improve the working and living conditions of the animals.

These have included a new regulation for the limitation of the weight of users, and a revision of the schedule of rest periods according to the time of year. Other initiatives that have been undertaken are the installation of new drinking troughs and larger rest areas to ensure the donkeys are kept in perfect conditions.

“We check that the animals are well weighted and that the hooves are in good condition. In addition, the areas where they are kept are visited and we offer recommendations for the improvement of their welfare. In general, they are all fine, although there are always things that can be improved to make the donkeys more comfortable," María said.