Weight ban on tourists riding iconic donkeys

Lester Mason
October 13, 2018

However, there is no telling how this new law will be enforced in Santorini and in other parts of Greece.

Greek lawmakers have moved to regulate the popular tourist activity on the island and impose a weight limit on loads, after photos of donkeys smarting from open wounds made headlines around the world this summer, provoking public outrage.

According to the Mail Online, the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food has put new regulations into place.

After receiving numerous complaints, the Ministry has banned tourists, weighing over one hundred kilograms to ride the donkeys of Santorini.

Christina Kaloudi, 42, of the Santorini Animal Welfare Association said: "We don't want to stop the locals making a living or using donkeys on the steps, but to look after them in a fair and human way".

In a sweeping move for equine rights, the Greek island of Santorini has formally banned "obese" tourists weighing over 220 pounds from riding local donkeys, after outcry from animal rights activists won global media attention and backlash in recent months.

"The owners of working equidae [donkeys] should ensure that the animals' level of health is high".

Concerns have also been raised by the UK-based Donkey Sanctuary charity regarding the conditions of the animals working on Santorini.

"Despite the fact that it's only a 30 minute walk ... or two minutes by cable auto, these donkeys are used as cruel transportation for people who want the "real Greek" experience", the petition said.

"The situation in Santorini has been going on for many years and it can not be resolved in one day".

Activists also revealed how the animals often work seven days a week for long hours in the direct sun, often up to 30 degrees, without rest or water.

- The animals should be given appropriate and adequate food and fresh drinking water daily, into containers which can not be contaminated and are cleaned at least once daily.

Leader of the Athens branch of Direct Action Everywhere, Maria Skourta, said: "We were content with the bulletin because the goal of our organisation is to bring matters to light and initiate conversation".

Activists have fought against the practice, saying that letting the donkeys carry heavy tourists amounts to animal cruelty.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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