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Heavy Tourists Caught Riding Donkeys In Greece Could Be Hit With £25,000 Fine

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Heavy Tourists Caught Riding Donkeys In Greece Could Be Hit With £25,000 Fine

Greek authorities have said heavy tourists who break the laws regarding riding donkeys could be slapped with a £25,000 fine.

The country introduced laws to protect the welfare of donkeys after concerns were raised by animal rights charities last year.

Credit: PETA
Credit: PETA

Tourist donkey rides are common on the island of Santorini, but last year, the Greek government brought in laws which make it illegal for donkeys to carry anyone who weighs more than 100kg (15st 10 lbs).

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But last month, PETA shared a shocking video in which the animals could be seen struggling up steep steps with tourists on their backs. Other donkeys can be seen tethered up in the hot sun.

Now a government official has said anyone caught breaking the rule would be hit with 'severe penalties'.

He made the statement in response to an open letter from Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee who called on the government to completely ban the use of donkeys for 'taxi rides'.

Greek minister of agriculture Makis Voridis replied: "The welfare of productive animals, working animals and generally all the animals of our country is a major concern for me personally and for our Ministry.

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"The aim of the Ministry in view of the forthcoming tourist season is to tighten the relevant controls throughout the Greek territory. In the event of violations of existing legislation by the audit authorities, the offenders will be subject to severe penalties. It is noted that the envisaged fine may be up to €30,000 (£25,000)."

Credit: PETA
Credit: PETA

He added: "We try to make sure to keep up-to-date on the latest scientific data and [EU] Commission guidelines aimed at preventing any kind of animal maltreatment and improving their welfare conditions.

"In this way we believe that the traditional character of the local communities is maintained and strengthened, their economy is improved but the animals are also protected."

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However, much like Tommy Lee, PETA don't believe the authorities are doing enough.

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."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Animals

Claire Reid
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