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California School District Ends Donkey Basketball Tradition

April 2003

PETA was contacted by residents and students who were upset that three area schools in the Merced Union High School District had participated in a donkey basketball game that was held as a fundraiser for the district’s Future Farmers of America [FFA] program. Photos printed in local newspapers showed participants pulling and yanking on the reluctant animals, who were likely frightened and confused by the unnatural environment.

We contacted the principals of the three participating schools, explaining the cruelty inherent in donkey basketball and the negative message it sends to young adults about the treatment of animals. We soon heard from one principal, who reported that the matter had been discussed and that the district had agreed that donkey basketball was not appropriate. The administration will be working with the FFA to find more humane fundraising options.