Heatwave Prompts Call for Santorini Donkey Ride Ban

Posted by on July 25, 2023 | Permalink

As Greece experiences its longest heatwave on record, with temperatures soaring above 40˚C in places, PETA has sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni urging them to take urgent action for the donkeys and mules used as tourist “taxis” on the Greek island of Santorini.

Working under such extreme conditions can lead to circulatory stress and heat stroke, which is often fatal in equines – and as the climate catastrophe is only getting worse, urgent legislation to ban these animal rides is the only way to protect these long-suffering animals.

Eyewitness Reports Reveal Equine Cruelty

Donkeys and mules on Santorini are made to transport tourists up more than 500 steps to the old town of Firá, even though a cable car operates nearby.

PETA has previously published eyewitness reports showing animals with painful abdominal abrasions and wounds caused by ill-fitting, worn-down saddles. Some donkeys and mules had wounds covered in flies.

While animals are forced to await their next trip in the scorching Mediterranean sun, they are often denied water, shade, and protection from the elements.

Many animals stumble – often after being beaten with a stick by a handler – endangering themselves and nearby tourists who are on foot.

Contact Greek Officials

None of the existing measures taken by the government can sufficiently protect these animals. Only a ban on donkey and mule rides will stop the suffering.

Tourists give a financial lifeline to this practice when they pay for animal rides on holiday. Take a stand and only support the local economy in an ethical way – never ride donkeys or mules.

You can join PETA in urging Mitsotakis and Kefalogianni to act by sending an e-mail now: