After weeks of delays, worries, frustration and even a few tears, 10 donkeys that were saved from the slaughterhouse and the Italian meat market, have begun their journey to the Isle of Wight and their forever home.
The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary was originally contacted in early November 2020 by Tracy Bradford at Pour L’Amour des Anes 29 in Brittany. The sanctuary guaranteed the payment of the slaughterhouse fee and guaranteed to give the 10 donkeys a home together here on the Island.
Tracy had managed to get the donkeys back to her small sanctuary to begin their rehabilitation whilst here on the Island administration work was being completed to allow the ‘French 10’ to travel to Britain. Along the way, the Donkey Sanctuary agreed to take 2 more slaughterhouse animals from Felicity Taylor at the Pegasus sanctuary in Normandy.
Carol Foote, Business Manager for the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary, has said:
“Little did we know the obstacles we would have to deal with whilst we went from getting the donkeys passported and vet checked to finally getting their transport ready! We had a nice steady plan in place, a lovely stress-free journey for them on Brittany Ferries via Caen to Portsmouth and a quick pop over the Solent via Wightlink. Oh how things can change!
“We were hit by Covid 19, 2 sets of lockdowns in England and France, closure of French borders, lorry backlogs across the channel, new Brexit regulations, additional Brexit blood tests and quarantine required – and then heavy snow in Brittany!”
Jiva, Javette, Jenny, Jumpy, Josephine, Hope and Charity – with the foals Kitchi and Koko and the ‘old lady’ of the group Junon – said goodbye to La Belle France on Thursday and will soon be starting their new life at their forever home on the Island. They are due to arrive later on today (Saturday).
Charity Manager Derek Needham has said:
“This is a hugely positive story. Our supporters got behind this rescue with their interest and generosity and their tremendous belief in the work of the 2 rescue sanctuaries in France who began this process. During lockdown, this story provided inspiration to people who were determined that, in spite of all the hurdles put in place, these donkeys would be saved. It has brought out the best of human emotion, to care for and save these animals. At a time when humans themselves had enough to cope with, it showed tremendous compassion to think of the lives of these donkeys.
“We can only offer a humble thank you to everybody involved, on both sides of the channel”.