NETWORK FOR GREEK ANIMAL SAFETY
welfare is an issue funded directly by the EU mainly for the well being of farm animals. However, the notion of animal security,
welfare and protection cannot be limited to the agricultural sector, and needs direct action in other animal crisis in the
European territory. In this particular case we ask reaction towards the way the stray animals are killed with no mercy or
dignity across the Greek territory.
five Freedoms for animals, according to the FAQ page, on the Cyprus EU delegation web page are the following:
from hunger and thirst;
from pain, injury and disease;
to express normal behaviour;
Freedom from fear and distress.
EU sets standards for the welfare of animals on the farm, during transport and at slaughter. It also provides scientific advice,
prepares legislative drafts and carries out inspections and control to verify the correct implementation of these laws.
animal slaughter does not solely occur in the framework of the consumer’s food chain. The public is well aware of killings
in animal testing in laboratories and organised animal fights. What we seem to be forgetting, is the stray animals mutilation
that occurs daily in Greece.
there is EU awareness on the issue of cruelty to stray animals in Greece,
and the EU deplores such behaviour, no direct funding whatsoever is available to benevolent and international NGOs.
responsibility is left to the Greek national authorities, which are not yet responding to an ever growing number of animal
cruelty cases in their country. This, despite the fact that it is an official criminal offence.
N.G.A.S. has the mission to raise awareness on the animal rights topic, and find effective solutions in order to put a stop
to this situation.
of the EU have different cultural backgrounds and sensitivity to their relations with animals. Nevertheless, the majority
of the Member states act consideration for their stray animals, and punish individuals who abuse of them.
was not the case for southern countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal in the past, but things have improved radically in the last 10 years. For instance,
things have taken the right turn in Italy, when anyone who tortures or abandons their animals can face fines of up to €10,000
and even be sent to jail for a year.
this is not the case for Greece.
the Olympic Games held in Athens in 2004, a sudden awareness of the stray animal’s overpopulation problem
(and how it would affect the image of the Greek capital) induced the authorities to react.
are diverging versions on how the issue was finally tackled. According to International NGO’s and the press (see Annex
I) thousands of animals were murdered in an uncivilised way to free the streets of Athens of stray
animals. This lead to mass protest rallies of concerned citizens in front of Greek Embassies across the world.
officials have vigorously denied any connection in the deliberate slaughter.
that might encourage the authorities to take matters seriously once and for all, is the financial input in Greek economy by
tourism every year. We need to find means to reassure an ever growing number
of holiday-makers that are very concerned by what they see every year when they come to Greece.
are regularly shocked and appalled by what they witness during their holidays of this EU member country and an alarming number
of foreign visitors have declared that they shall not be going back to Greece
for how distressed they have been by the constant animal abuse.
- Animals are regularly killed in Greece
with the following methods:
Rat-chemical poison in meatballs (called FOLA), that causes atrocious internal
haemorrhage and a very painful death.
Broken glass and the Warfarin drug (anti-coagulant medicine) are mixed in food; starved strays trust the food and suffer a
death similar to the above mentioned one.
Shooting, drowning, starving and dumping alive in garbage bins.
Strychnine and farm pesticides are regularly used to kill stray animals.
have to wait until the day a child eats the contaminated food by mistake, and dies in twenty minutes before its parent’s
eyes, in order to react to what will by then be HOMOCIDE?
corpses of these dead pets are left on harbours, beaches and streets, and represent a direct danger for any small child, be
it Greek or foreign. It also causes a hideous sight and hygiene threats to the population.
This animal suffering is avoidable and requires simple
veterinary assistance, so that the animals can be spayed and neutered.
ask for recognition and support from the European Union, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe in order to put
a definitive stop to these barbaric happenings.
call upon Greek local and national authorities to create an agenda and act immediately.
aims of N.G.S.A. are the following:
and demand direct action from Greek national and European authorities to intervene immediately, through effective and serious
punishment to anyone who breaks existing laws regarding animal welfare and safety, and by assisting NGO’s that are directly
involved in tackling the problem all over Greece .
political and financial support from European authorities to create an adoption scheme, so that a number of animals may be
sent to safe homes across Europe.
Government in the EU has the responsibility to adopt humane policies regards its animal
population. Nevertheless the Greeks have non-existent animal control policies, a lack of shelters, and a general neglect
towards the issue.
- Raise awareness of risks inherent in pet animal overpopulation for health and hygiene
the Greek authorities of the amount of their economy that depends on tourism, and help them to find ways to reassure an ever
growing number of tourists that are very concerned by what they see every year when they come for their holidays.
- Educate the Greek public on the issues revolving around stray pets cruelty, and assist
benevolent NGO s on a national level.
commonsense spaying and neutering programs that would help keep the population of feral dogs and cats under control.
There are in fact no EU grants for local veterinary assistance to sick stray animals. Any EU funding to fight
animal diseases is allocated directly to the Member States.
We are aware of the issue and deplore all form of cruelty towards animals, their inhumane treatment and neglect.
However, the welfare of stray dogs and cats is a matter which falls entirely within the responsibility of the national authorities,
the Community has no legal competence here. The matter should therefore be raised with the Greek national authorities.
How about this … ? 'The Treaty of Amsterdam, in force since 1st May 1999, lays out new ground
rules for the actions of the European Union (EU) on animal welfare in a special "Protocol on the Protection and Welfare of
Animals". It recognises that animals are sentient beings and obliges the European Institutions to pay full regard to the welfare
requirements of animals when formulating and implementing Community legislation.
The protocol indicates the responsibility of the EU to legislate in improving the welfare of animals
and in preventing cruelty against animals and their mistreatment in areas covered by the Treaty (such as agriculture). In
other areas not covered by the Treaty the EU has no competence so that these issues remain under the sole responsibility of
the Member States (e.g. the use of animals in competitions, shows, cultural or sporting events such as bullfighting, dog-fighting
and dog-racing).' DG SANCO - http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/animal/welfare/policy/index_en.htm
We have awareness-raising projects, LIFE funding to conserve natural habitats and wild fauna and
flora, to implement Community policy and legislation on the environment in the
EU/candidate countries and for technical assistance activities for promoting sustainable development in third countries etc.
In any case, although the Commission deplores all forms of cruelty towards and inhumane treatment
and neglect of animals, the welfare of stray dogs and cats is, however, a matter which falls entirely within the responsibility
of national authorities and there is no legal basis for intervention by the Commission.
“The Commission places great importance on animal welfare and the first
Community regulation on this subject was established as far back as 25 years ago. The Community has adopted general rules
on the rearing of animals with the view to protecting their welfare. More detailed conditions have been laid down on the rearing
of calves, pigs and laying hens. The Community has also passed legislation on animal transport and the conditions for the
Community rules also exist on the use of animals for scientific research. Community legislation on animal
transport and on the use of animals for scientific research is applicable to cats and dogs. However, the way stray dogs are
dealt with is a matter where the Community has no general legal competence. Within the Union, this domain is under
the sole responsibility of the Member States.” (Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission on 14th January
2003 to a written question E-3260/02 by Hanja Maij-Weggen (PPE-DE) - Subject: Treatment of stray animals)
According to the European
Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals
The following articles
should be noted:
1. Only a veterinarian or another competent person shall kill a pet animal except
in an emergency to terminate an animal's suffering when veterinary or other competent assistance cannot be quickly obtained
or in any other emergency covered by national legislation. All killing shall be done with the minimum of physical and mental
suffering appropriate to the circumstances. The method chosen, except in an emergency, shall either:
a. cause immediate loss of consciousness and death, or
b. begin with the induction of deep general anaesthesia to be followed by a step
which will ultimately and certainly cause death.
The person responsible for the killing shall make
sure that the animal is dead before the carcass is disposed of.
2. The following methods of killing shall be prohibited:
a. drowning and other methods of suffocation if they do not produce the effects
required in sub-paragraph 1.b;
b. the use of any poisonous substance or drug, the dose and application of which
cannot be controlled so as to give the effect mentioned in paragraph 1;
c. electrocution unless preceded by immediate induction of loss of consciousness.
the following officials and demand a halt to the practice of dog poisoning in Greece. Let them know that you refuse to travel to Greece until the problem
of animal homelessness is addressed in a humane and effective manner.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture
Minister of Tourism
Ambassador to the U.S.
As the Olympics are reported, write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Use the following sample to help you:
the host to the 2004 Olympics, Athens, Greece has decided to rid its streets of packs of roaming dogs in an effort to appear civilized
and clean for tourists. Home to thousands of stray dogs and cats, officials made plans to poison an estimated 30,000 - 50,000
strays before the games. According to Welfare for Animals in Greece, a NYC
advocacy and lobby group that has recently traveled to Greece on a mission of
investigation, 80% of the abandoned street dogs of Athens and the greater Attika area, including the Olympic sites, have already been exterminated.
the fact that poisoning dogs is a criminal offense in Greece, it is a traditional
method of controlling stray animal populations. Local authorities turn a blind eye to the use of poisons - such as strychnine,
rat poison, and farm pesticides - that often result in a slow, painful death that can take days. Please contact officials
at the Greek Embassy at Greece@greekembassy.org and tell them that you will not go to the games as long as dogs are