You will be surprised to know about the new law that has just been passed in Greece. Santorini will no more be providing ‘overweight’ tourists, the ‘real Greek experience’ of riding the famous Santorini donkeys. By Deepali Sharma
The Greek government has passed a new law preventing ‘fat tourists’ from riding a donkey. The cruise destination of Santorini attracts innumerable tourists from all around the world. And overexcited tourists specifically want to ride donkeys to experience a traditional Greek vacation. However, now you can only enjoy this if you aren’t more than 100 kilos.
After outrage from many animal rights group and a petition from change.org called “Stop Animal Abuse of Donkeys and Horses in Santorini” that had more than 108,000 signatures, the Greece’s Ministry of Rural Development and Food passed the law to protect Santorini’s donkeys. It further adds that the donkeys should be provided with reasonable amount of food, fresh drinking water, and should not be working long hours with ill-fitted saddles.
Animal rights group claimed that the innocent donkeys have suffered from spinal injuries, open sores and other problems due to long rides in scorching sun worsened by increasing demand from obese tourists. These donkeys are mostly used for exhausting long uphill ride to the hilly capital of Fira.
They are made to work in stressful conditions, standing on their own feces, seven days a week during the burning days of summer, which is the peak season sans water, rest and shelter. They are further abused by the farmers to walk fast the 568 cobbled steps to increase their earning.
Help the Santorini Donkeys charity also reported about how they are now using cross-bred mules because donkeys are now unable to carry weights. Christina Kaloudi of the Santorini Animal Welfare Association also brought out the issue in limelight of how cruise ships are bringing more overweight tourists from places like America, Russia and the UK, adding to the problem.
Time to watch your weight, we say, especially if you’re planning a trip to Santorini!