Some 1,500 donkeys are subjected to abusive practices in 28 brick kilns in the Katmandu Valley in Nepal. A donkey will typically carry 3,000 to 5,000 mud bricks on his back every day, transporting them to the kilns. But no government department insures that the donkeys receive adequate rest, food and veterinary care.
The donkeys are brutally beaten by their owners. Every year, at least 25 donkeys die from exhaustion in Nepal's brick kilns, which have been called "medieval hell holes." When a donkey dies from heat exhaustion, or other conditions caused by overwork, he is simply replaced by another donkey until that donkey also suffers the same fate.
Consumers can express their outrage at this situation by making wise purchasing decisions. If you buy any products at all from Nepal, please be aware that a certification system is currently being introduced. Under this system, a red or orange label on a product means the kiln does not meet even minimal standards for the care of donkeys. A green label means the kiln meets basic standards for the treatment of donkeys, including adequate nutrition, rest and veterinary care.
But much more needs to be done to preserve the lives of these precious animals. You can do your part by refusing to purchase any products from Nepal with a red or orange label.