Tommy Lee Asks the Greek Government to End Donkey ‘Taxi’ Rides
Motley Crue's Tommy Lee wants to end the cruel treatment of donkeys and mules on the Greek island of Santorini. He's asking the country's government to cease the practice of using the animals for transportive "taxi" rides.
The Motley Crue drummer — who was born in Athens, Greece — laid it all out in a Dec. 4 letter he sent to Greek parliament member Mavroudis Voridis, the country's Minister for Agricultural Development and Food, as Billboard reported. The musician writes that, during a recent trip to Santorini, he witnessed overloaded donkeys and mules struggling to transport people and luggage. A CNN Greece article then pointed him to a PETA exposé that shows handlers whipping and hitting the animals.
"I was especially angry to learn that a law passed just a few years ago to help the donkeys isn't being enforced," Lee says at one point in the letter, the full text of which appears below. "Tourists … pile on to struggling donkeys, who are forced to carry humans up and down the 500 steps from the port to Firá's old town several times a day."
In their report, PETA noted that "taxi" donkeys on Santorini suffer open sores and bloody injuries; are denied food, water and shade; and endanger tourists that may be run over or trampled by the animals when panicked.
In his letter, Lee says he refused to use the animals as transportation on his recent visit to the island. "The video footage of these suffering animals haunts me," the musician adds. His rock group just recently reunited for a stadium tour with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
Dear Minister Voridis,
I'm honored to have been born in Athens, and wherever I tour with Mötley Crüe, I proudly proclaim my Greek heritage. But there's an issue souring the reputation of Greece that I hope you'll help resolve: the sickening abuse of broken-down donkeys and mules made to lug tourists up steep hills on Santorini. I visited the island this summer on a yacht trip—we docked there for two days, and I refused to ride a donkey up to the city center.
I just saw this story about it on CNN and decided to join my friends at PETA in trying to stop this cruelty. I was especially angry to learn that a law passed just a few years ago to help the donkeys isn't being enforced. Tourists should take Santorini's cool cable car! Instead, they pile on to struggling donkeys, who are forced to carry humans up and down the 500 steps from the port to Firá's old town several times a day. Ill-fitting saddles cause inflamed wounds that often go untreated. Animals have no protection from the scorching Greek sun and are only rarely granted short breaks. They're even denied food and water. The video footage of these suffering animals haunts me.
I understand that you have the power to stop this cruelty and make Santorini hospitable to both tourists and animals. Please put an immediate end to the old-school cruelty of "animal taxis." I look forward to your response. Thanks for your time and consideration.
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