Flowers in Chania

Donkeys suffer fly-covered sores after hauling tourists up 500 steps on Santorini

Donkeys suffer fly-covered sores after hauling tourists up 500 steps on Santorini
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    ANIMAL rights campaigners have revealed footage of donkeys with open wounds struggling as they carry heavy tourists in Greece  With no shelter or water, the animals are whipped as they walk up the 500 cobbled steps of Santorini up to five times a day  Activist group PETA showed the footage of the mules and donkeys, who were covered in sores, being used as taxis  The creatures were being violently yanked by their handlers and being whipped by sticks as they flail under the weight of the heavy passengers  The group has accused officials of being in 'clear breach' of Greek animal welfare laws by 'denying the animals water and a place to cool down '  PETA also claims that the government is blocking their campaigns to place signs on buses and taxis reading: "Donkeys suffer for tourists Please don't ride them."  "Greek authorities should be stepping up and stopping donkeys from being marched into the ground in Santorini, not covering up the cruelty of forcing them to carry heavy loads of tourists up hundreds of steps," PETA Director Elisa Allen said in a statement  The group said about 100 out of 2,000 donkeys and mules are being used for tourist rides on the island  The donkeys and mules, with brightly-coloured reigns collect tourists who have arrived on cruise ships and then carry them from the harbour to the island's capital  In the distressing footage, the donkeys are whipped if they don't move. 'UNNECESSARY TORTURE'  The animals make four or five return journeys up to 520 wide cobbled steps on the cliff-side path that leads up to Fira  According to the group, there has been an increase in donkeys suffering spinal injuries, saddle sores and exhaustion  In some cases the animals who become too exhausted to ride are left out in the sun to die  More than 108,000 people signed an online petition last summer to put a stop to the 'mindless and unnecessary torture'  A cable car was introduced to the island, which lessened the donkeys' load, but tourism on the volcanic isle increased with up to 17,000 holidaymakers arriving each day MOST READ IN WORLD NEWS'COULD BE MURDER' Cops say death of toddler dropped from cruise ship window may be MURDERRAPED BY CHILDREN Five boys as young as 12 'film themselves gang-raping woman, 18, in park'LEFT TO DIE Baby died in fire 'after mum went clubbing leaving boy, 6, in charge of 5 kids' In response the Greek government introduced legislation making it illegal to burden animals with 'any load exceeding 100kg (15 stone 10 lbs) , or one-fifth of [their] body weight ' However, the activist group says the donkeys should be carrying a maximum of half that 'Veterinary recommendations, donkeys shouldn't carry more than 20 percent of their body weight, approximately 110 pounds (7st 12lbs,  50kg)' their website explains
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