It seems unbelievable that on an idyllic island such as Santorini in Greece continues the cruel abuse and mistreatment of donkeys and mules by forcing them to carry tourists on sightseeing trips.
In spite of the Greek government passing a law banning passengers weighing more than 100kg (15 stone, 10 pounds) to be transported by donkey or mule on the island, footage showing the animals being beaten, mistreated and forced to carry overweight tourists continues.
The donkeys are forced to carry tourists up and down 500 slippery steps from the port to the capital city of Fira, and back throughout the day.
PETA have also criticized Greek officials for allegedly blocking their ad campaign which show an exhausted donkey with the words, “Donkeys Suffer for Tourists. Please Don’t Ride Them.” from being placed on buses and taxis.
The video, filmed in September and released this week, show exhausted donkeys struggling up the steps, endangering themselves and tourists walking their way to the top.
The footage also show the donkeys tethered in the hot sun, without water and food and tied so tightly they cannot even move their heads to attempt swatting away the flies bothering them
Making the suffering of the animals even worse and totally unnecessary is a cable car right next to the steps which can carry tourists to the top in comfort and offer amazing views of the island and ocean.
None of the various campaigns over the years to save Santorini’s donkeys have been successful. PETA is hopeful that with the indisputable proof of the animals’ mistreatment the government will finally pass legislation to make these rides illegal.
Peta director Elisa Allen said: “It’s a disgrace that gentle donkeys and mules are still being whipped and marched into the ground as they’re forced to work day in and day out with no relief from the hot sun.
“Peta is calling on tourists to steer clear of these hideously cruel rides and urging Greek authorities to step up and stop this abuse.”
Santorini has one of the largest donkey communities in the country, a total of over 2,000.
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