VALENCIA – Benjamín Pérez, Director General of the Natural Environment of the Generalitat Valenciana, has resigned today (Tuesday) following a failed project involving donkeys in the natural environment to help prevent fires. However, the result of the project was the death of ten donkeys.
His resignation was accepted by Mireia Mollà, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition.
Stress, poor nutrition, bites, and wounds
As reported by InSpain.news, the 10 donkeys were part of a group of 50 to help prevent forest fires by eating forest mass and creating natural fire breaks. However, it appears the project was not monitored effectively as the death of the animals were caused by various factors. These included stress, poor nutrition, and bites and wounds from other animals. However, there are many other theories.
An anonymous note was sent to the council threatening the animals due to the noise they were causing at night. Veterinarians do not rule out that the stress could have been at human hands due to harassment.
The remaining 40 animals were removed on October 9 from Desert de les Palmes de Castellón natural park and are back at the property of the owner in Castellón.
Investigation into the death of 10 donkeys
An investigation is also being conducted on the director-curator of the Desert de les Palmes Natural Park. According to Mollá, “there has not been good supervision of the project”. As such, she has requested his appearance on a voluntary basis in the Valencian Courts to give him the opportunity to explain what happened.
Action should have been taken sooner
Gecen (Group for the Study and Conservation of Natural Spaces) denounced the inaction of the government and claims liability for negligence in the management of the project. Since the deaths were staggered, action should have been taken sooner – after the first or second death.
However, those responsible for Gecen have clarified they are not against this type of project.
Similar projects have taken place within Spain and Europe with great success.