Disturbing reports have surfaced of underage riders participating in a donkey race in the village of Komi on the island of Lesvos. Children were filmed hitting defenseless animals to urge them to go faster, while their parents and onlookers laughed and cheered, encouraging the minors.
The Animal Welfare Association “Kivotos Mytilini” brought attention to this act of animal abuse and has gathered audio-visual evidence to be handed over to the Lesvos Police Department and Lesvos Veterinary Department for further action and sanctions.
The municipality of Mytilini has condemned the incident, emphasizing that it is not a local tradition. Heraklis Kountourellis, representing the municipality, expressed deep regret over the involvement of parents in such behavior. Efforts will be made to educate the local community, particularly the children of Komi, about animal rights and the importance of treating animals with respect.
Given the dwindling number of working donkeys in the area, Kountourellis stressed the need for their protection and vowed that those responsible for the event would face consequences.
A Supreme Court prosecutor has initiated an investigation into the donkey race, specifically examining potential violations of animal protection and child neglect legislation.