Protect the horses in Chania from unnecessary suffering and cruelty

As a UK citizen who lived in Crete for 3 years, I would dread going into Chania down near the harbour, as I would feel so much sorrow in the summer months seeing the poor horses being used to drag carriages and naive tourists around the area in the blazing heat and sun.

In temperatures of over 40 degrees and rising, the horses are sweating and tired, yet the Greek owners whip them into one more tourist ride after another. This has become a trade for them at the expense of the loyal and exhausted horses.

Once in the middle of the day, at 42 degrees, I approached the owner of one of these poor beautiful creatures and asked if he felt ok sitting in the shade under the umbrella his horse was tethered to. He said yes, isn’t it hot? I asked why he was shaded under the umbrella yet your poor horse has to endure this heat without shade or water. His reply? Horses do not feel the heat and he knew best.

You cannot argue with the individual business owners, so the best way to help end this unnecessary abuse of the animals is to try and make changes at Government level, so that they no longer allow permits for this ‘tourism’ business and the horses no longer have to endure this awful life. The horses are transported to the harbour at 0930 each morning from May to October, and have to work continuously until past midnight. They are lucky for water breaks, but never get any shade. We have seen horses with open wounds pulling carriages. Just put yourself in that life even for one hour?

During the winter months they stay inside small stables, never let out and with only basic food. They arrive at the harbour in May very thin, with the bare minimum to keep them alive.

We MUST educate tourists not to pay for these rides; don’t allow your children – our next generation, to believe this is ok.

We have attached some associations in Crete which we ask everyone to plead with to stop this inhumane act. It may be legal but that does not mean it is right. We have to stop using animals as a commodity and find ethical ways to find an income.

A recent newspaper article in Crete only last week showed a horse collapsed because of dehydration and abuse. It’s time we stood together and made changes for the voiceless!

The Dimos is the local government in Chania – Please can everyone send an email to both Natassa Bobalaki (President of the animal welfare society in Chania) and the Dimos below to ask them to stop the cruelty and wake up – its 2017! CHANGE MUST HAPPEN!

The time has come to help the horses of Chania. Laws must be changed, permits must be withdrawn.

Natassa Bobolaki president of Panhellenic Animal Welfare Environmental Federation. Telephone: 6976489349 natassabobolaki@yahoo.gr

Jody Knowles started this petition with a single signature, and now has 6,604 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

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6 Responses

  1. emma maiden says:

    Steven Davies, above, says the horses are in excellent condition! What a lie.
    I saw these horses and can testify that they DO NOT have water to drink, or shade to stand in. I asked the owner taking money for rides why they had no water. He replied that they get a drink at night. My heart wept for these beautiful creatures. This animal cruelty is on show day after day in Chania harbour. How are tourists OK with this?? How is this allowed in Europe today? Surely it breaks EU rules??

  2. Emma Maiden says:

    I visited Chania and was appalled to see the horses standing in the July sun with no shade, NO WATER! I spoke to the man in charge of them and his surly reply was that they get water at night. I have never forgotten the horses there, working day after day giving tourists rides around the town. I promised to donate money to a local horse charity to help….does anyone know who I can contact about this?

  3. Alison Mount says:

    These horses are so poorly treated it is unbelievable in this day and age. Surely there are animal welfare groups/authorities that should become involved. I have also asked about why their owners are in the shade and their horses have no shade or water…they do not answer. Shocking…just shocking and really emotional.

  4. June Aitchison says:

    I totally agree ! We have been coming to Chania for over 6 years now and at least twice per year. EVERYTIME I walk past these poor horses I refuse the leaflets to promote the rides and tell them it’s cruel . They just shrug their shoulders and walk away from me ! In all the times over many years, I have never seen these horses being given water , far less food . It needs to stop ! NOW !

  5. As a resident of Chania since 2015, I regularly see these horses on our harbour walks. As a horse owner myself for over 40 years I can testify to the excellent condition of them.
    Vasillis, if this was who the author spoke to, is crrect in saying that as horses have a higher body temperature (around 38C) They do not feel the heat like humans do.
    FYI author, I have never seen any of the horses sweating and all are taken to a taverna in a side street once every hour for a snack and bucket of cold water.

  6. Helen thornton says:

    I was in chania in sept. Was still 28 deg. I am a horse physio and over 30 years horse experience.
    These horses bar one ( which was running off nervous energy) were daily fatigued. The horses stand there all day in the heat inbetween their trots around the cobbles. Very poor farriery work and NO FOOD. One bucket of water was given to 3 of the horses lined up and they drank it desperately. No more was offered to fully hydrate them. Horses are grazing animals. They eat for 20 hrs ish a day because of the hind gut this is needed to keep them healthy.
    These horses need our help. This is 2019 for god sake. Crete what Is wrong with you ?!?! Catch up with welfare?!?!?!

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