Worth the weight: Greece bans fat tourists from riding donkeys in Santorini weeks after protests

Donkeys at Greek holiday hotspot Santorini are now likely to face lesser work"load" issues, as the Greek government has banned overweight tourists from riding them.

The development came after activists raised the issue of the animals being left with spinal injuries from carrying tourists who find it difficult to climb the steep slopes.

According to CNN, with the move, tourists will now have to weigh 100 kilograms or less, or one-fifth of the donkey's body weight, if they wish to ride the animal.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Greek ministry of rural development and food has instructed the authorities that the animals "should not be loaded with a weight excessive in size, age or physical condition."

Metro.co.uk reported that ministry's new set of regulations state that the owners will have to ensure the animals are healthy to work and are provided adequate food and water daily.

"Under no circumstances should be used animals unfit for work (sic) i.e., ill animals, injured, animals in an advanced pregnancy as well as animals with poor maintenance of hooves," the report quoted the bulletin as saying.

In July, four campaigning groups had held protests after a video of an owner beating a donkey surfaced on social networks.

Following the demonstration, the Santorini town hall had issued a statement saying that the authorites had held a meeting with animal rights groups and animal owners to ensure "respect for the rights and well-being of donkeys".

Santorini, perched hundreds of metres above a bay in a volcanic crater, has struggled to cope with a huge numbers of tourists who have flooded in over recent years.

The town hall has already imposed limits on the numbers of cruise liners and people allowed onto the island.

With inputs from AFP

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Updated Date: Oct 11, 2018 20:53:12 IST

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