Animal rights activists on Thursday held a rally outside the Greek embassy in Washington, DC to call for an end to Santorini’s donkey rides.
The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) described the practice as “notoriously inhumane,” pointing to a damning eyewitness investigation by the group’s German chapter.
In a press release, PETA says that video footage revealed that donkeys and mules are used as “taxis” in Santorini’s scorching heat, forced to transport tourists — many of whom are overweight—up more than 500 steep steps to the old town of Firá, even though a cable car has been operating nearby for decades.
Many animals were tethered in the blazing sun without access to water or shade—and some were even forced to continue working at night, hauling bags of trash. Animals who are too old or weak to work are often even abandoned to die, PETA notes.
“It’s a disgrace that gentle donkeys are being marched into the ground as they’re worked day in and day out with no relief from the hot sun,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is galvanizing Greek authorities to step up and stop this abuse.”
The protest is the third of several PETA demonstrations taking place this week at Greek embassies around the world, the group said in a press release.
There's NO excuse for this, Santorini! PETA supporters took a stand outside of the Greek embassy in Washington D.C. to let everyone know how donkeys ridden by tourists on the Greek island of Santorini are routinely denied water and shade and have their wounds neglected 😢You have to hear one woman's story and why she's speaking up for donkeys now 👊
Posted by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) on Thursday, June 13, 2019