Tourists are CRIPPLING the donkeys that carry them around Santorini #Business [Video]

Cristian WorthingtonFeedToPost, MondoPlayer Twitter

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Fat tourists are CRIPPLING the donkeys that carry them around the Greek island of Santorini forcing locals to cross-breed them with mules to make them sturdier

  • Santorini has a hilly terrain so donkeys have traditionally been used for transport
  • In the summer, up to five cruise ships a day bring 1,200 tourists onto the island
  • The …

Donkeys on the picturesque Greek island of Santorini are being crippled by carrying heavy holidaymakers

Animal rights activists claim with obesity on the rise, animals are being forced to carry ever-heavier loads. Some have been left with spinal injuries and open wounds from ill-fitting saddles (pictured)

'There should be a weight restriction. With donkeys it is should be no more than eight stone, but how would that be imposed and who would be there to make sure that happened?'  a  spokesperson said. Pictured, a donkey takes a tourist up the steps of Santorini

A spokesman for Help the Santorini Donkeys charity said: 'It's recommended that animals should carry no more than 20 per cent of their own body weight'

There is no appointed body to enforce regulations on donkeys, so owners often work the animal into the ground before casting them aside when they are no longer capable

In the last ten years, the number of overweight tourists from the US, Russia and the UK has trebled

A spokesperson for the donkey Sanctuary said: 'The Donkey Sanctuary does not actively promote the use of donkeys and mules in any form of tourism'

Witnesses claim every day the donkeys make four to five journeys up the white cobbled steps to the town of Fira

Santorini is known for its hilly terrain and donkeys have traditionally been used to transport people over the famously stepped areas which vehicles cannot access

One local said: 'The holiday season on islands is now a lot longer than it used to be, meaning that the donkeys are pretty much in work the whole year round'

One charity worker said: 'Donkeys are very resilient animals and will keep going for as long as they can, so when they come to me in this state, I have the utmost respect for them.'

In 2008 an international code of practice for working equines was signed by officials on the island, alongside the UK donkey sanctuary

Charities say the explosion of overweight tourists even means locals who are keen to get the most out of their animals have been forced to crossbreed donkeys with mules