Authors Join Call for End to Cruel Donkey Rides in Santorini

For Immediate Release:

26 May 2020


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]


Writers Behind Beloved Books About Donkeys Team Up With PETA and International Affiliates to Appeal to Greek Minister of Agriculture

London – A coalition of authors from across the UK and Europe has signed a letter from PETA and its international affiliates asking Greek Minister of Agriculture Makis Voridis to put an end to cruel donkey “taxi” rides in Santorini. The letter is available here.

The authors include Neil Griffiths, the British author of Damson the DonkeyRindert Kromhout, the Dutch author of the Little Donkey series; and Katia Simon, the German author of books about a donkey named Elias. The letter points out that donkeys and mules in Santorini are beaten by their owners, abused by inexperienced riders, denied adequate food and water, and forced to labour from early in the morning until late in the evening.

“We cannot believe that your country allows such public animal abuse, despite international protests and media reports,” writes PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. “It’s time to create new laws that will finally ban animal rides for tourism purposes. This is the only way in which donkeys and mules will be adequately protected.”

After a 2018 PETA Germany eyewitness exposé revealed how donkeys are abused on Santorini, a new law prevented owners from burdening their donkeys with weights exceeding 100 kilos (even though, according to veterinary recommendations, they shouldn’t carry more than 20% of their body weight, which amounts to approximately 50 kilos). Additional footage from September 2019 revealed blatant flouting of this new restriction.

Investigators also found donkeys and mules suffering with open sores, raw skin, and bloody injuries from ill-fitting and makeshift saddles. When they’re not being forced to give rides, most of the animals are tethered in the scorching sun so tightly that they can’t even reach the one bucket of water available to them.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information and to take action for donkeys, please visit