Greece bans obese tourists from riding donkeys

Animal rights activists said the donkeys were being subjected to harsh conditions

British media outlet, covers a decision by Greek authorities to enforce animal safety regulations writing that it has banned fat tourists from riding on donkeys after campaigners said the animals were being left with spinal injuries. The move comes after shocking images emerged of donkeys climbing the narrow steps of the Greek island of Santorini holding obese holidaymakers. Lawmakers in Greece have since pledged to do more to help the animals.

The country’s Ministry of Rural Development and Food has published a new set of regulations regarding donkeys’ wellbeing after receiving multiple complaints following media coverage in July. These state donkeys giving tourists rides in Santorini should not carry any loads heavier than 100kg, or one fifth of their weight. It follows animal activists on the island claiming donkeys were being forced to carry ever-heavier loads while they work long hours, seven days a week without shelter, rest and water – leaving them with spinal injuries and open wounds from ill-fitting saddles.
The bulletin states: ‘The owners of working equidae should ensure that the animals’ level of health is high. There should also be disinfection materials in their living quarters and workstations.

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