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                                                                   THE DONKEY SANCTUARY AND
                                                                  GAWF/AAH HOLD POSITIVE TALKS
                                                                       WITH SANTORINI MAYOR

                                                             It  has  become  an  annual  story,  but  this  year  following
                                                             numerous media reports across the globe regarding the
                                                             treatment and welfare of donkeys and mules on the Greek
                                                             island of Santorini, the Greek Animal Welfare Fund and its
                                                             partner,  the  international  animal  welfare  charity,  The
                                                             Donkey Sanctuary, held positive talks in late August with
                                                             the Mayor of Santorini, Anastasios-Nikolaos Zorzos, who
                                                             has pledged to improve the conditions for working horses,
                                                             donkeys and mules (equidae) on the Greek island.
                        Meeting the Mayor of Santorini
          A team from The Donkey Sanctuary and GAWF was on Santorini from 19 to 25 August assessing the welfare, working
          conditions and socio-economic value of the donkeys and mules.  In general, the body and hoof condition of the
          animals was found to be good but all parties acknowledged there are areas requiring improvement. At the meeting,
          Mr Zorzos confirmed his commitment to improving the key areas of concern identified by the two charities.
          The Mayor has agreed to:

              Extend the shelter at the top of Fira Port steps to protect animals from the sun

              Install a permanent, free flowing water trough at the top of Fira Port steps so that the animals have access
              to clean drinking water there
              Repair and extend the shelter, and install a permanent water trough at the bottom of Fira Port steps
              Revise and simplify the code of practice for working equidae on the island, harmonising it with new European
              Directives within the framework of Greek law
              Support training sessions organised by The Donkey Sanctuary

          The Mayor pledged that all these improvements will be
          implemented in time for the next high season for tourism
          in 2019; The Donkey Sanctuary and GAWF will monitor
          progress in follow-up visits.

          Paul  McGlone,  the  chief  executive  of  the  UK-based
          Greek Animal Welfare Fund, said in the Guardian on
          Friday 12th October 2018: “Greece has good laws but
          all too often fails to implement them. It’s not only donkey
          owners in this case who need to be responsible, who
          have to say ‘you appear to be too heavy. I am sorry, but
          my animal has limits’. Tourists, too, also need to make an
          informed decision.”

          The Donkey Sanctuary and GAWF/AAH recognise that
          donkeys and mules form an important part of social,
          cultural, and economic structures of Santorini and are
          keen to encourage visitors to make informed decisions
          both about their own suitability to ride an animal and the         Working mule in Santorini
          suitability of the animal to be ridden.

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