The first fines for breaching an animal welfare code have been issued to donkey owners on the Greek island of Santorini.
The Donkey Sanctuary has led efforts to improve the welfare of donkeys who take tourists up the steep cliffs – climbing 600 steps – from the port to the old town.
A code of practice set up by the sanctuary several years ago had not been enforced – until the recent election of a new mayor, who pledged to improve welfare.
Paul Svendsen of the Donkey Sanctuary told H&H: “We were delighted to see â‚¬200 ( £175) fines issued in September to 10 donkey taxi owners who breached the law.
“Some owners weren’t rotating their animals and were hitting them with sticks. All this should be prevented now.”
Santorini Animal Welfare Association’s Christina Kaloudi agreed times had changed.
But the Donkey Sanctuary is urging tourists to keep an eye out and send information if they have concerns. Previous spot-checks have found girths embedded in the animals’ flesh and lame donkeys having to work.
For information visit: www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (27 October, 2011)