Greece bans ‘overweight’ tourists from riding donkeys

(CNN) — A burden has been lifted from the shoulders of Greece’s working donkey population.

The country has banned “overweight” tourists from riding the animals on the popular island of Santorini, after activists complained that they were suffering spinal injuries.

Sightseers often pay to ride donkeys up steep slopes from the shore to the island’s main town, but transporting heavier travelers has taken its toll on the creatures and prompted anger from campaign groups.

People wishing to ride the donkeys will now have to weigh less than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) — or one-fifth of the donkey’s body weight.

The animals “should not be loaded with a weight excessive in size, age or physical condition,” the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food instructed.