Regardless of opinion on whether or not donkeys and mules should be working in tourism, there is one thing that donkey lovers must unite on: the welfare of any working animal needs to be placed at the forefront of a business' priorities. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Donkeys in international tourism
Although legislature in the UK aims to ensure the protection of working donkeys' and mules' welfare, international policies are sometimes less stringent. The Donkey Sanctuary aims not only intervenes in instances of cruelty towards working animals abroad, but also fights for legislative change in order to help donkeys and mules for years to come.
Our work in Santorini, Greece, has helped to influence the betterment of conditions for donkeys often carrying loads far exceeding the recommended weight limit, without access to shade or water. Following positive talks with the Mayor of Santorini, we are hopeful that life will improve for donkeys both on the ground and through protective legislation.
If you are planning on taking a holiday to a place in which donkeys and mules are used for tourism - from carrying luggage to trail rides - be sure to watch our short animated film and find out how you can be a responsible tourist.