Authorities on the Greek island of Santorini have refused to allow an ad campaign that shows an exhausted mule next to the words “Animals Suffer for Tourists. Please Don’t Ride Them” to be run on local buses and taxis. The ads were intended to be placed on vehicles across the island in time for the peak tourist season.
A local ad company representative explained that because many bus and taxi drivers also own animals who are forced to transport tourists up steep steps, the municipality of Santorini refused to issue the necessary authorisation to run the ads. The censored ad campaign follows a recent PETA exposé revealing that in Firá, handlers drag animals down the steps from the port to the old town and whip and hit them with sticks to make them continue walking.
A new law passed this year prevents donkey and mule owners in Santorini from burdening their mules with weights exceeding 100 kilograms – but according to veterinary recommendations, donkeys shouldn’t carry more than 20% of their body weight, approximately 50 kilograms. When not being made to carry extremely heavy loads on their backs, they’re often tethered in the blazing-hot sun without access to water or shade.
Greek authorities should be stepping up and stopping animals 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 is urging people everywhere to tell any friends or family members who are planning to travel to Santorini to refuse to support this abuse and to use Firá’s cable car instead.
Please also send a message to the Mayor of Santorini and the Greek Minister of Tourism asking them to end cruel animal rides on Santorini: