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Educators Are Giving Lessons in Cruelty, Says GroupFor Immediate Release:April 1, 2010
Contact:Desiree Acholla 757-622-7382
Snohomish, Wash. -- After learning that Snohomish High School has scheduled a "donkey basketball" game for Wednesday, April 7, PETA has posted an action alert on its popular Web site asking caring citizens to contact Dr. William Mester, superintendent of the Snohomish School District, and Beth Porter, principal of Snohomish High School, and urge them to cancel the cruel event and replace it with an activity that doesn't involve live animals.
PETA points out that donkeys used in basketball games are often dragged, kicked, or hit by stray balls and are sometimes seriously injured in falls. Hauled around in cramped trailers, the donkeys are denied proper exercise. Food and water are often withheld before games in an effort to prevent unsightly "accidents." The noise and chaos of the games are extremely stressful for the donkeys, and even though experts agree that the animals are only able to bear a little more than 100 pounds, the donkeys are typically forced to carry full-grown adults in donkey basketball games.
The games also pose a risk to human participants. An Illinois man was awarded more than $110,000 after being injured in a donkey basketball game. During another donkey basketball game, a Wisconsin state senator fell off a donkey and broke her leg.
Donkey basketball games have been put out to pasture in many areas of the country. The principal of Bremen High School in Midlothian, Ill., canceled a planned donkey basketball game, stating, "Based on what I know, I would not be a responsible principal if I let this go on." The Monmouth County Education Association in New Jersey instituted a ban on donkey basketball games, and Pennsylvania's Northwestern School District agreed to ban the use of any live animals for entertainment purposes.
"Besides putting people's safety at risk, abusive events such as donkey basketball give students a lesson in cruelty," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "Snohomish-area schools should be promoting competitions that feature only willing human participants."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
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