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Letter to the Editor about Donkey Basketball

November 12, 2007

Gloversville, NY 12078

Letter to the Editor:

Johnstown High School’s International Club has scheduled donkey basketball for next Monday night; we should discourage this activity due to the inhumane treatment of the donkeys and the potential dangers to spectators and participants.

Some may be unaware of how abusive this “sport” is for donkeys, shipped nationwide, spending the majority of their lives in cramped trailers, traveling from one event to the next. Confined in tiny transport cages, they endure constant stress and often suffer from temperature extremes and irregular feeding and watering. Adding to the demands of travel, being handled by strangers is highly distressing for the donkeys, experiencing fear, frustration, and other stresses for nothing more than a few hours of mere entertainment. Animals have been kicked, pulled, shoved, hit by badly thrown balls and otherwise abused, as well as having their food and water withheld by handlers to prevent defecation and urination on the gym floor.

Human health and safety issues are growing concerns for those who contract with animal exhibitors. Those riding the donkeys may be overweight for these small animals; therefore, the potential for injury is great. The stress and unnatural living conditions for animals used in traveling acts makes them extremely vulnerable to illness, disease, and unpredictable temperaments. They may lash out in frustration or fear, causing injury to participants or bystanders.

Donkey basketball is an act opposed by most animal protection organizations in the country. What lesson is this for students? Why not emphasize humane education with example set by adults treating animals with dignity and respect.

If fundraising is the issue, students can conduct car washes, talent shows, silent auctions, rummage sales or bake sales. Why not consider alternatives to using and abusing donkeys, such as a basketball game between current participants and local celebrities?


Shemirah Brachah
Michelle, Arne, Megan and Axel Johnson
Members of the Board of Directors
The Vegan Venue, Inc.

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