Greece has banned obese tourists from riding donkeys after animal rights campaigners said the animals were being left with spinal injuries and open wounds.
After images shown donkeys climbing the steps of Santorini laden down by heavy tourists, lawmakers in Greece have now pledged to help the animals.
The Greek Ministry has published a new set of regulations regarding donkeys’ well-being after receiving multiple complaints following media coverage in July.
These state that donkeys giving tourists rides in Santorini should not carry any loads heavier than 100kg or one-fifth of their weight.
The move comes after animal activists on the island claimed with obesity on the rise, donkeys were being forced to carry ever-heavier loads while working long hours, seven days a week without shelter, rest and water – leaving them with spinal injuries and open wounds from ill-fitting saddles.
Santorini is known for its hilly terrain and donkeys have been used to transport people over the stepped areas which vehicles cannot access, such as capital Fira.