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Think very carefully before visiting Greece about how you will feel when you see stray dogs and cats in poor condition on the street. If you are determined to go, find out in advance if there is any help available for the animals locally - a local shelter or rescuer who might be really glad of a few much needed items brought with you such as flea treatments or wormers. Your tour operator and holiday representative should be able to provide this information, or you might find somewhere on the internet.
Santorini and the abused donkeys
If you have ever visited the very popular tourist island, Santorini, you cannot fail to have been appalled at the mal-treatment of the donkeys and mules, carrying heavy tourists and their luggage up and down 600 steps, all day long without respite in the boiling sun. If they stumble or move too slowly they are beaten; they are housed in a filthy cave at the foot of the cliffs; they get veterinary treatment if and when their owners can be bothered to alert the only vet on the island.
For the rest of the year (spring, autumn and winter) they are used as beasts of burden even carrying heavy objects such as fridges! PLEASE on your next trip refuse to take the donkey ride and opt for the cable car. Also, very importantly, do register your concern on the Complaints form mentioned below - "Good News From the Greek Government".
This suffering which has gone on for years and years despite protests regularly ignored by the government, tourist organisation and local authorities, was dramatically highlighted by the Daily Express in October 2007. A big public outcry followed.....and nothing has changed all these years later.
The pressure must be kept up. Please help!!
Good news from the Greek Government
The Greek Tourist Organisation has produced a complaints form to be used by tourists to comment on any aspects of Greece they did not like including ill-treatment of animals.
The Greek Tourist police are required by law to help a tourist for any reason whatsoever so contact them if you seen any neglect or abuse. However, feedback we receive from visitors is that the tourist police are unlikely to offer any practical help. If this is the case then when you return home please please complete the form as soon as possible and either email it or send it with photos if possible (this is important) to:
Greek National Tourist Organisation,
Complaints and Consumer Protection Section,
To download a copy of the English version of the complaints form click here
If you have any difficulty in downloading, please contact us and we will send you a form. It is important that the authorities are made aware of the distress caused to visitors seeing animals being cruelly treated and feeling they can do nothing to help. Many tourists say they will never return to Greece because of the animal cruelty and if enough people stay away from Greece the authorities must surely take notice? Could this in time lead to the proper implementation of animal protection laws?
Registered Office: 32 Cobden Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN114BD
For general enquiries, correspondence, membership etc. please contact: Linda Manley-Bird, 32 Cobden Road, Worthing, Sussex BN11 4BD
Saving Greek Animals is the slogon of Caring for the Animals Trust, registered charity number 1091152