Greece has banned obese tourists from riding donkeys after animal rights campaigners said the creatures were being left with spinal injuries and open wounds.
After images of donkeys climbing the narrow steps of the Greek island of Santorini laden down by large holidaymakers hit the headlines worldwide, lawmakers in the country have now pledged to do more to help the animals.
These state that donkeys giving tourists rides in Santorini should not carry any loads heavier than 100kg or one fifth of their weight.
The move comes after animal activists on the island claimed with obesity on the rise, donkeys were being forced to carry ever-heavier loads while working long hours, seven days a week without shelter, rest and water - leaving them with spinal injuries and open wounds from ill-fitting saddles.
The government bulletin states: 'The owners of working equidae should ensure that the animals' level of health is high. There should also be disinfection materials in their living quarters and workstations.
In June, charities there claimed the explosion of fat tourists meant locals who are keen to get the most out of their animals were being forced to crossbreed the animals to create mules, which are bigger and taller and can carry heavier loads with more stamina.
Elisavet Chatzi, 45, a volunteer from Athens who participated in a peaceful protest in Santorini over donkeys' treatment there earlier this year, said: 'It's a very big step, I think all our hard work has paid off.
'The situation in Santorini has been going on for many years and it cannot be resolved in one day.
'We have won our fight because of the international media attention on the topic. No one could ever believe that new regulations would be set.
'The next day after the bulletin was released, I was told a tourist had been carried up the hill by three different donkeys, so as not to exhaust them...'
But other campaigners allege that despite the reminder, nothing has changed on the island and there is still a long way to go.
Maria Skourta, 42, the leader of the Athens branch of Direct Action Everywhere, claims: 'We were content with the bulletin because the purpose of our organisation is to bring matters to light and initiate conversation.