The annual Almoradi donkey race, a part of the summer fiestas for over a decade, was scrapped last Saturday after complaints of animal abuse from rights groups coupled with the municipality’s new PSOE-led administration refusing to sanction the event.

The event organisers, the Equus association, said that they are dedicated to rescuing donkeys and other species, and the group does not believe in being cruel to animals.

Daniel Gomez from Equus added that he did not see what the fuss was all about as it was an annual tradition just to see four donkeys trotting in a shaded area. In the end, the animals provided some gentle rides in a private enclosure, with around 50 animal rights protestors monitoring proceedings at the gated entrance.

Meanwhile, this Sunday’s donkey race, as well as a cattle drive and horse parade will go ahead as scheduled as part of the Dolores cattle feria, which was revived last year. Animal groups have promised protests but Dolores mayor, Joaquin Hernandez, said they had all the necessary approval in place from the wildlife branch of the Guardia Civil (Seprona) as well as the Ministry of Agriculture.

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