Overweight British tourists accused of animal cruelty by accepting rides on worn out donkeys

Head hanging down, the donkey presses on in the blazing heat with its heavy load.
Carrying tourists more than its own weight the skinny animal sometimes falters, but is urged on by the handler - who hits its hind quarters with sticks or nails.
This is the shocking picture of cruelty against animals in top tourist destinations visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.
overweight tourists on donkey
Cruelty: A skinny donkey struggles under the weight of a tired tourist in a shocking example of the way animals are treated at top tourist destinations
Tourists flock all year round to see the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan, and the Egyptian pyramids in Cairo.
In rose-stoned Petra, many are determined to climb 800 rock cut steps for a famously impressive view from the impressive Ad-Deir Monastery.
But the trek proves too much for some, and when they get a little weary there are more than enough donkeys on-hand, led by locals who rely the animals for their livelihood.
Because they are desperate for money the handlers often insist no load is too big for the donkeys.
Visitors heave themselves onto the animals - which are sometimes smaller and slighter than their load.
Others double-up for a ride, or cram as many people as possible into a carriage pulled by the animal.
overweight tourist on donkey
One of the donkeys is urged up the 800 steps at Petra, in Jordan, by his desperate owner
These horses can be highly decorated - but the ornate coverings can hide angry sores caused by rubbing, and bones protruding from the animal.
But while they spend all day working, the animals will sometimes go without food because owners cannot afford to feed them after being bartered down on the price of a ride by lazy tourists, desperate for a bargain.
Donkey and horse charity The Brooke, which Camilla Parker Bowles is president of, is warning all tourists travelling abroad to be mindful of the welfare of the animals when on holiday, and stress it happens in destinations across the world.
'They are living beings, they're not machines,' said Dorcas Pratt, head of international development at the charity.
'When people get onto a horse or donkey, they should make sure they match their size to the size of the animal.
'Nevermind whether it seems to be able to take your weight, it might be suffering from carrying that weight - these animals have feelings and they feel pain.'
overweight tourist on donkey
Plight: Many of the donkey are not fed properly because tourists haggle the price of a ride down and elaborate harnesses often hide sores and protruding bones
Mrs Pratt, from the charity whose president is the Camilla Parker-Bowles, added that while beach donkeys in Britain have a donkey charter detailing their rights, which includes a strict eight stone weight limit, there are no regulations to protect animals overseas.
She said: 'People are not deliberately being cruel, but when they step out of your own context and go abroad maybe they loose sight of the fact the animal still feels.
'When horses are raced against each other they are beaten with sticks, electric flex or even nails.
'Sometimes tourists might want to have a bit of fun and encourage the handler to race them, not realising how painful this can be for the animal.
'There needs to be one person per animal, the rider needs to match their weight to the animal.
'It is also important that tourists pay a fair price for the ride, as bartering the owner down will just mean they have a tighter budget, which means the animal can suffer and might not get fed.
'Choose the animal, rather than a highly decorated carriage, and praise the owner for their healthy animal.'

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