perjantai 6. syyskuuta 2013


In Greece cruel management  of animals is common.
text: Elisa Kissa-Öberg

Published in Iltalehti 12.08.2013

On Greek Animal Rescue (GAR) webpage a Finnish tourist, Anna has written:

“What I wasn’t aware of and what really shocked me as a tourist and as a human was the way the Greeks treat their animal. I could never have imagined to be forced to face such cruelty and ignorance towards animals. As a tourist who stayed only for a week I have to say that to be able to enjoy the island you have to be blind or keep your eyes closed pretty much from the airport to the hotel.”
Greece Exposed internet lists cruelties to animals.
Within one July week they reported a dog being dragged behind of a car, of a borzoi who had been lying paralyzed on his owners’ yard for a month and of a dog who was hanged in an olive-tree.
Within the same week there was news of Chania:  25 dogs killed by poisoned baits which were thrown over the fence of the dog shelter.
In Athens thousands of stray dogs and cats were poisoned before the 2004 Olympic games. At that time animal welfare organizations accused municipal authority of “cleaning up” the streets.
The mayor had to answer

                                            photo: Kilkis Animal Friendly Society

May 2012 dead dogs and cats were brought to the steps of municipal hall of Kilkis. The municipal management were expected to give answers for poisoning the animals.
In the year 2011 statistics showed that 75 percentage of Greeks considered the poisonings and abuse of animals crimes that should be punished. On the other hand a great deal of Athens’ citizens considered poisonings to be a necessary evil because there was too many stray animals.
In Greece the new animal welfare law came into force in 2012. Severe sanctions are provided by law. A man who  put his dog in a sack and tossed it from the car was arrested and punished with 31 200 euros fine. Heavy fines is however possible to pay in instalments. Often it is found that after the first payment, the following instalments are “forgotten”  and not collected.
Dierenhulp Foundation has listed Greece to have the darkest statistics in animal welfare crimes.
Is the financial crisis to be blamed of animal abuse in Greece?
“Crisis “helped” in a way to have more strays in our streets. People have had their own pet dogs but they don’t really love animals and know it is easy to abandon them and make them homeless”, answers Eleni Iliopoulou from Zoosos –association.
She thinks the main reason for animal abuse is the lack of education.
 “Older people treat animals without having a second thought that these creatures have needs and feelings. They also think that strays are useless since they don’t produce milk, or we don’t eat them”.

An appeal to the Minister of tourism.
The Minister of tourism has received numerous appeals in which she was asked to draw her attention to the cruelties towards strays. So far there has not been no effect.
Anastasia Aravantinou from the Panhellenic Animal Welfare Federation  however thinks that foreigners can show the way. “Tourists have influence. They could demand their money is used in animal friendly business.” The hotel owners should participate of the costs of neutering the strays which live in the neighborhood.
Swedish Apollo Travel started in 2012 Bättre resa (Better voyage)-program. Tourists may visit on a childrens’ home in Chania or in a dog shelter near Hersonissos. Also Finnish Apollo is participating. “Apollo is co-operating with a dog shelter. We provide the donations and help in adoptions. Some of us guides work voluntarily in the shelter and guide animal friendly people to go there. Also Finnair participates by allowing the adopted pets to travel in flights.

Finnish association Kreetan Kodittomat Eläimet is on their webpage looking for flight companions to assist the adopted dogs to Finland. Animals are not allowed to travel in plane without an escort. A tourist who wants to adopt a dog has often to wait for weeks to get the animal to Finland. The reason is that animals are to be microchipped,  dewormed and vaccinated before importing.  Importing an animal is often impossible within the holiday and that is shy the companions are needed.

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