Anger at Greek animal care laws
Joe Mason: September 2011
Holidaymakers disturbed by the lack of care.
Animal lovers throughout the Greek islands are angry that new animal protection laws don't go far enough. They claim new laws will do nothing to tackle the problem of abandoned and mistreated animals and pets in Greece. Many people on Greek island holidays notice the many stray cats and dogs wandering the Greek streets apparently without homes or loving owners.
Known as a national of animal lovers, many UK holidaymakers are disturbed by the lack of care shown to pets in overseas holiday resorts.In Greece, new laws have been passed to curb the numbers of abandoned and mistreated pets and to tighten up on breeding.
But Greek animal care organisations warn that the new laws do not go far enough and that problems with animal care in Greece will continue.
A spokesman warned: 'There will be thousands of abandoned animals because of the liberation of the amateurish breeding and the uncontrolled trade. The animal lovers believe that the bill has been prepared by ignorants without awareness and sensitivity for the animals, and with the aim to promote economic interests of some unions.'
Animal lovers welcome some of the new laws, especially stricter penalties for mistreatment of pet animals and a ban on using animals in circus acts.
But they are against the reduction in fines for those who abandon their pets and withdraw support for voluntary organisations that offer a free service to neuter animals. Owners who wish to neuter their pets must now pay €200. Also, there are now no penalties for Greek municipalities who fail to collect stray animals.
Dog society organisations estimate that 15,000 puppies are born in Greece each year while another 20,000 are imported.
I know animal welfare is almost non-existent in Greece but Servia Kozanis is a record low even for Greek standards. Every time I visit I meet stray dogs that are sick or hurt on the main streets of the village. Again today I saw a labrador mix with open wounds on head and shoulder sitting dirty and hungry outside a pharmacy on village main street. People wanted to kick it so that it is not visible from the cafeteria nearby. Isn't there any mercy on the local government on these poor creatures? Isn't there any organisation in a near by city that can help?