One man’s beast is another man’s equal

DREADFUL CONDITIONS: Donkey was mere skin and bones.

OUTRAGE and despair in equal measure greeted the controversial arrest of a British couple, who ran foul of the law when trying to save a pregnant donkey they reported as being in a dreadful condition of neglect. 

Peter Singh and his wife Jean run a small charity dedicated to rescuing abused animals in Spain and across Europe, and have previously attracted the unwelcome attention of the Local Police. 

Alerted to the plight of a donkey Peter described as pregnant, blind in one eye, with a hoof like a tennis ball, and malnourished such that she was mere skin and bones, the couple felt there was no choice but to take drastic action. 


The following day they sneaked through the unlocked gate of the farm in Fortuna, Murcia and quietly retrieved the distressed animal with the intention of returning to their base in Pinoso, Alicante to seek urgent medical care for her. 

What happened next has ignited fury across the British expat community and animal lovers in fearsome numbers. 

Upon their arrival back in Pinoso they were greeted by a Local Police car lying in wait, attuned to their plans, and what Peter has told EWN was an aggressively racist tirade from an officer of the law.

The couple were reportedly told to go back to England before being unceremoniously detained for hours while charges of animal theft were drawn up and a court date set in motion. 

Condemned to a local stable, overflowing with horse excrement, no help was proposed for the pregnant donkey, nor further investigation launched against the owner. 

Peter and his wife will now pay the owner and take custody and care of the donkey and two others. They have been overwhelmed by the limelight and are now considering moving elsewhere. 

Peter’s story is in many ways a powerful metaphor for the cultural collision that continues to throw an occasional spanner in the works of British-Spanish relations. Whether it’s bullfighting or the donkey taxis of Mijas, British people have long championed the battle against animal cruelty.

And it is in moments of heated cultural clashes that racism and bitterness rear their ugly heads, after lying unspoken in the shadows. 

But had Peter been Pedro, and the donkey rather been a lamb on a Lancashire farm would the story have been so different? 

Is breaking into someone’s property a step too far? Where do you draw the line? More to the point where should we collectively draw the line?

Click Here to see the other side of the story.

The Euro Weekly News is proud to contribute €100 to help Peter and Jean with the costs of saving the donkey and her unborn child. If you would like to help, contact them at [email protected] for details.



  1. I think they got what they deserve from the police. If they felt the donkey needed help, could they not ask the owner if he needed assistance . They assume they know better for the welfare of someone else’s donkey & have the cheek to steal it . Interfering , know all busy bodies is what I would call them , they give expats a bad name. They should return to the uk if they can not show respect for the citizens in this country .

  2. I guess that same attitude of your’s would apply if you saw a woman being raped or a child beeing abused then! Easy to do nothing and turn the other cheek. I guess if everyone took your attitude we’d all be ignoring what is staring us in the face! You should inform yoursef befiore commenting. They aren’t just expats here retirng and doing sod al. They ahve for years dedictaed their lives to rescing the most abused animals and opening their own home to the charity and have over 60 abused and abandoned animals there. Well I won’t other to explain to the ill informed! But thank goodness we don’t all have that attitude of do nothing and watch sufferring! Do you know even the local children’s orphange has to be supported by financially. Guess who does that by raising fund? Yes ! That’s right the expats!

  3. If you had read my comment correctly , you would see I didn’t suggest doing nothing , I suggested speaking to the owner and offering assistant . Which I still feel is what should have been done . But if you think it’s better to take the law into your own hands , that’s your opinion .


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