After Santorini officials refused to run adverts highlighting the suffering of donkeys and mules used as “taxis” on the Greek island, PETA Germany – refusing to be silenced – has bombarded neighbouring ports, ferries, taxis, buses, billboards, and cargo bikes with the powerful campaign.
Over 100 adverts reading, “Help stop cruelty: please don’t ride the donkeys and mules!” are now visible in the popular Greek coastal towns of Rafina and Piraeus. The campaign follows a recent PETA eyewitness exposé revealing that handlers drag animals down steps and whip and hit them with sticks to make them continue walking.
“It’s a disgrace that gentle donkeys are being marched into the ground as they’re forced to work day in and day out with no relief from the hot sun,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA is calling on tourists to avoid these cruel rides while urging Greek authorities to step up and stop this abuse.”
A new law passed this year prevents donkey and mule owners in Santorini from burdening their animals with weights exceeding 100 kilograms, even though, 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 sun without access to water or shade.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.