Animal abusers on the making: Underage riders raced on the back of donkeys in the middle of village Komi on the island of Lesvos. Other children are being videotaped to hit the defenseless animals in order to make them go faster during the donkey race.
The donkeys raced in the middle of the village while cars and and motorbikes drove by as usually.
At the same time, the riders’ parents and audience were laughing and cheering and inciting the minors to go faster or just hit the donkeys.
The animal abuse incident was made public by the local the Animal Welfare Association “Kivotos Mytilini.”
The NGO said over the weekend that it was going to hand over the audio-visual material it collected from the donkey races to Lesvos Police Department and the Lesvos Veterinary Department, for further actions and in order to impose sanctions on those involved.
For its part, the municipality of Mytilini condemned the “donkey fights” in Komi, noting that it is not a local custom.
Speaking to Open TV, Heraklis Kountourellis of the Mytillini Municipality said “it was a very sad event that does not express our local communities.”
“We are sorry that parents were also involved. We will call on the local community to eliminate these phenomena, we will tell the school community to show special interest in the children of Komi so that they understand that animals are something we should not abuse and that they have rights,” he stressed adding that those responsible for the event must and will be punished.
“There are very few donkeys left because nowadays they are not used for work like they used to be. These must be the last ones in the area. They must receive special protection and because they are going to disappear we have a double obligation to take care of them”, Kountourellis concluded.
On Tuesday, a Supreme Court prosecutor ordered an investigation into the donkey race in Komi.
The prosecutions supervisor to issues related to animal protection issues, has directed her colleagues on the island to investigate whether any animal rights legislation or child neglect legislation was broken in holding the donkey race.
Note that the donkey race was organized by the Komi Horse Club.