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Greece bans 'overweight' tourists from riding donkeys

Concerns over the working conditions of donkeys on selected Greek islands have pushed the government to put weight restrictions in place for luggage as well as passengers. 

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The charm of a holiday to a Greek island begins as soon as you step off the ferry and make your way to the hotel, with a few of the donkeys or mules that populate the island being corralled to carry both passengers and their luggage up the steep, picturesque cliffs. 

Riding on a donkey, slow and precarious as the journey may be, is part of what makes your Greek holiday special. But that experience may soon be a thing of the past. 

Animal rights activists in Santorini have taken action against donkey owners making their animals carry loads exceeding 100kg in efforts to prevent saddle sores and spinal injuries

Santorini's mayor Nikos Zorzos has welcomed plans for the new law: "We welcome any measure that will improve the animals’ welfare. There are around 300 donkeys down at the port, but elsewhere too, they have always played a role in our island’s economic and social development. Santorini was practically built with donkeys."

The law will force donkey owners to take better care of their animals. And, while the country cannot formally force overweight holidaymakers to shed some kilograms before visiting the island, the new law might encourage people to take better care of themselves as well. 

Images: news.com.au

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