We consider lobbying to be an important and even vital part of our work for animals in Greece.  We therefore make sustained efforts to maintain good working relationships with the Ministry of Agricultural Development and the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection, both of which are involved with animal welfare issues – as policy makers or as the agents of enforcement. 


There are many regulations, directives, legal requirements etc. that are supposedly in force – whether these come from the national legislative framework (Greek law) or from the EU.  However lack of organisation, funding, political will and good management, together with entrenched social attitudes to animals and traditional farming practices, mean that inspection and enforcement can be very poor or non-existent.  The number and remoteness of small islands in Greece is an added complication.

Ιn spite of the difficulties, we have found that persistence pays off:  together with partner organisation ADI  we had lobbied for a BAN ON THE USE OF ANIMALS IN SHOWS AND CIRCUSES since 2006! 

 

Successive governments and ministries promised action but as elections came and went the issue seemed always to find its way to the bottom of each new minister’s “IN” tray.  Nevertheless, early in 2012 Greece finally passed a new law governing the treatment and protection of companion animals.  We had lobbied for this, too, for a long time.  One of the provisions was a total ban on the use of any animal in a circus, show or other entertainment –  a “first” in Europe, and one of which we are very proud.


We are also lobbying for proper enforcement of the ban on the old style BATTERY CAGES FOR LAYING HENS, which were outlawed on a Europe-wide basis from 1.1.12.  Sadly, Greece has failed to bring its producers into line, and many have still not switched to enriched cages.  This is an issue we are still very much engaged with, and we shall continue to lobby at national and EU level until Greece falls into line.


As a member of Eurogroup for Animals we also lobby for improvements and changes at European level, encouraging all the local groups we support and with which we are in touch to get their supporters to write to MEPs on issues such as transportation of animals within the  EU, conditions for intensively reared cattle, breeding sows and more. 


Acting in a coordinated way with partner organisations means we have a louder voice, so we have historically cooperated with organisations such as ENFAP (European Network for Farm Animal Protection) and CIWF (Compassion in World Farming) to lobby more effectively, and will continue to do so.