We’re pleased to report that there have recently been arrests on the island of Kimolos in connection with hobbled animals. This cruel practice is unfortunately traditional and widespread in many areas of Greece. It’s used as a way of keeping animals within a poorly fenced enclosure or preventing them from straying far where there’s no enclosure at all. We see it mostly in farm animals – sheep and goats – but also in donkeys and mules. The professionals of our Equine Team campaign against it wherever they find it, and always offer advice on alternative methods of restricting the movement of working animals and livestock.
Our outreach teams rely on the cooperation of local communities, so we do our best to avoid taking legal action against offenders, preferring to work with people rather than against them. Hobbling isn’t legal but the Greek authorities have tended to ignore it as they look sympathetically on the worst offenders who are often subsistence farmers of very limited means. Preventing it and punishing the perpetrators has historically been given low priority but there are signs that this is beginning to change – a development we most warmly welcome!