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Border Collie Rescue - On Line - Animal Abuse in Greece

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A tempting idea, but if you are an animal lover ...

Poisoning of stray - and owned - dogs and cats is widespread throughout Greece and it occurs on a daily basis. Those responsible for spreading around poisoned bait are rarely caught in the act and usually the bodies of their victims are picked up by garbage collectors in the early hours of the morning. The poisoning is often excused as a necessary and cheap clearing up operation of the large numbers of stray dogs and cats which are seen as a problem. Some people fear the strays would ‘spread disease’, others consider them a nuisance, especially when their numbers increase.

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Sterilisation is not common for household companion animals, because it is regarded as a negative intervention in the animals’ nature, but their owners refuse to take responsibility for the unwanted litters of puppies and kittens, which are usually abandoned. In short, many people seem to view poisoning as a ‘fact of life’. The poison used can be anything from strychnine and rat poison to farm pesticides and herbicides; even crushed glass.

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The average life-span of a stray dog in Greece is less than two years, as most of them perish during the winter months, if not shortly after the holiday season comes to an end. The last charter flights depart from the islands at the end of October, by which time most of the hotels and tavernas have closed down for the winter.

The strays, so dependent on the tourists for food during the summer, are left to fend for themselves, not knowing where their next meal would be coming from ... poisoned bait may be their last morsel, if they are not shot, or hit by a car, or hanged first ...

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Millions of tourists from all over the world visit Greece every year and many are shocked by the sights of animals in distress. They often befriend and feed the strays, who are generally very friendly and loving ... they just want to 'belong' and they try very hard to find somebody to adopt them ... the lucky few succeed.




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... and give him/her a chance of a happy and secure future



Even rampant poisoning is not recognised as an official problem! There are hardly any reports made to the police. And despite their anger and sorrow, the somewhat cynical and lax response from the owners of animals poisoned to death shows that they do not trust the judicial system; some even fear it. So it appears that poisoning will long remain acceptable within the Greek culture, as long as the authorities themselves show total indifference to the problem.



Greece has adequate animal protection laws, but in general, they are not enforced! We can all try to ensure that they are enforced whenever possible. If you happen to witness a cruelty case, please report it to the police and the municipalities - which bear the responsibility for the stray animals. Article 2 of Greek law 1197 states: "Whoever kills, harasses, or ill-treats animals covered by the present legislation, or abandons them, is punishable by article 8 of the present penal code."

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This leaflet has been prepared by a coalition of animal welfare groups throughout Greece and supporting foreign organisations. The purpose of the leaflet is to draw attention to the country’s appalling animal welfare problems and to ask for your help. Tourism is Greece’s number one industry and the authorities will pay attention to the complaints registered by foreign visitors, especially now that the country is preparing to host the next Olympic games ... to take place in 2004. With your help, the authorities in Greece can hopefully be persuaded to adopt a humane ‘stray control’ policy, by implementing widespread neutering programmes. We ask that you please write to:  the Prime Minister Costas Simitis: , the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Georgios Drys: and to the Minister of Tourism, Mr  Dimitrios Georgarakis:    - urging positive action to resolve Greece’s animal welfare problems.  Also please sign an on-line petition at: .

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Please send this message on to those who care about the plight of animals anywhere & everywhere ...

Animal suffering knows no boundaries, language or creed, but ... 'all the darkness in the world can't put out the light of one small candle'



Athens, Greece - 24.01.04

On Wednesday, January 21, 2004 GREEK   TV viewers  were horrified upon seeing the morning program of ERT 3  “Η Άλλη Μέρα»  (The Other Day) which featured the GOD awful “Animal Shelter of Northern Greece”, at Peraia, Thessaloniki.  At this ‘exclusive’ shelter for abandoned and abused  animals, amidst animal feces and carcasses, one saw emaciated dogs, most with appalling skin diseases, and maggot crawling in open wounds

Viewers saw the poor dogs fighting over a stale, filthy loaf of bread, while little paraplegic and blind souls desperate and terrified, dragged themselves in front of frightened puppies and dogs suffering in the last stages of Leishmaniasis, a horrifying disease, causing intolerable suffering.  Oh, by the way,  in the past,  Cannibalization has also been a featured item for  viewing audiences.

 For the thousandth time, TV viewers were witnessing the blatant violation of all animal protection laws by ‘shelters’ and the indifference of the Greek state.  What is the point of legislation?  Can someone tell us???

True to form, despite this documented evidence of  an Animal Auschwitz, the Greek government remains indifferent and mired down in inertia and perhaps plain, old, unadulterated inhumanity.

(Let us  bring up once more, the ahem, mysterious disappearance of thousands of abandoned dogs as the City of Athens prepares for the 2004 Olympic Games!and the magical disappearance of their carcasses.)

A guest featured on the morning program was Mr. Patikas, Director of the Veterinary Directorate of Thessaloniki, who constantly referred to the “notorious” new law, gazetted in July 2003 under No. 3170 entitled “Companion Animals, stray companion animals and other provisions, without even once whispering the words “companion animals and sentient beings”, and also withholding the very pertinent fact that he represents the responsible body for the implementation of the new law!

The same Mr. Patikas, in October 2003, after receipt of official complaints was forced to inspect the above mentioned shelter and concluded that everything was perfectly in order!  Perhaps this gentleman is missing a chromosome?

Furthermore, throughout the duration of the program, Mr Patikas failed to explain how, after only two and a half months, the disgusting situation which the camera was revealing shot-by-shot, had developed.  Naturally, he did not see fit to propose  immediate intervention by the authorities to relieve the animals’ suffering, although the health and welfare of animals is his responsibility.  Needless to say, he did not inform viewers where the dead animals were buried!

 It would seem that in Greece,  laws are voted in parliament to justify the existence and salaries of the 300 MP’s; thus law 3170 was passed – full of promise -  but without the slightest infrastructure for its implementation.  Yet another law to seduce and mislead and destined for the rat eaten files of the House of Parliament, as is the travesty of a law, whose provision defines that the state reply within 15 days to a citizen’s written request.  Otherwise a certain concerned party would have received a reply to her letter of September 4, 2003 in which she complained about the reprehensibleg conditions in the above shelter. "Concerned party" addressed her letter of complaint to Prime Minister Simitis, Agriculture Minister,   Drys, New Democracy Party Chairman  Karamanlis, Agriculture Deputy Minister  Hadjimichalis, Prefect of Thessaloniki MPsomiades, and Director of Vet Directorate Thessaloniki  Patikas, Mayor of Peraia Mantzari, Mayor of Corfu . Mastoras, Director of Vet Directorate Corfu and the Prefect of Corfu Machmari..

If the Fathers of the Nation are not disturbed when, through their own failings, Europe considers us barbarians, rude and arrogant Balkans, they should not be disturbed at the boycott of the Olympic Games and the influx of hooligan tourists at the summer resorts.

A call a "spade a spade" Greek animal rights organization," run by a phenominal Greek, raised abroad, is waiting to see whether the famous Greek ‘filotimo’ (reciprocal duty to honour) exists…..Because if it does, then every member of the Pan Hellenic Veterinary Association should undertake without charge, blood testing, treatment and neutering of the animals at the ‘Shelter for Strays Northern Greece’, and this is the minimum they should undertake in view of the promises made at their meeting in 2000.  As for the Veterinary School of the University of Thessaloniki, it should always actively contribute towards relieving the plight of the stray animals.

 In 2004, the year of ‘Volunteering’, the government should encourage in every possible way those distinguished veterinary surgeons of the European Union (amidst them,  professors of renowned universities) who offer their services free of charge throughout the country, to neuter and treat desperately sick stray animals.  On the contrary, with its indescribably idiotic bureaucracy, the government is, indirectly, ensuring that no such help shall be available to the strays, ever.  God help the animals of Greece



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