Disturbing New Exposé Shows Donkeys, Mules Beaten for Tourists on Greek Isle

Footage Reveals That Tourists Have Narrowly Escaped Being Injured by Distressed Animals

For Immediate Release:
November 13, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Santorini, Greece – PETA Germany has just released new video footage revealing that donkeys and mules are still being beaten and used as “tourist taxis” on the Greek island of Santorini, despite international outrage after an eyewitness report published by PETA in 2018 revealed that the animals were denied water and shade and left with painful wounds. In response to the findings, PETA is calling on Greek officials to ban all such rides. Images from the new exposé are available here.

The footage shows exhausted animals stumbling—often after being beaten by a handler—thereby endangering nearby tourists who are on foot. PETA Germany eyewitnesses frequently had to dodge unsupervised donkeys and mules in order to avoid injury, and one hiker even had to jump onto a wall to get out of the way of the struggling animals. When not being made to carry extremely heavy loads, the animals—many of whom had sustained wounds from ill-fitting saddles—are often tethered in the blazing sun without access to water or shade.

“Santorini holds itself apart from Greece and Greek law—it’s a totally uncivilized place where men openly whip and beat donkeys and mules, making them perform backbreaking work, day in and day out,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Greek authorities need to step up and end the use of these animals.”

Following a global appeal last year by PETA Germany and its international affiliates, Greek officials banned any person weighing more than 220 pounds from riding the animals. Despite this, the new footage documents blatant flouting of the already-generous weight restriction, as tourists of all weights were allowed to ride the animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA and to take action for donkeys and mules, please visit PETA.org or click here.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind