A mass grave of around 55 working donkeys has been found by a Nepal animal welfare organisation.

Animal Nepal made the gruesome discovery at Khopasi, in the Kavre district on 11 September.

Nine surviving donkeys, found huddled together in a small makeshift bamboo shelter, covered with a simple plastic sheet, were rescued.

The charity said the deaths had resulted from multiple causes, including infected wounds and allergic pruritis, as well as malnutrition.

Volunteer director at Animal Nepal, Pramada Shah, said: “The death of some 55 donkeys at Khopasi stands as an example of the irresponsible attitude of equine owners in our country. The animals have died a slow and painful death.

“The suffering of these donkeys and countless others goes unreported and no one seems to care.”

Animal Nepal plans to file a case against the donkeys’ owner.

The organisation has called for the passing of an Animal Welfare Act in Nepal to make animal abuse punishable by law.