Lobbying Joining forces to create a favourable political environment for animal welfare… One area we focus on is lobbying EU institutions and the Greek State to deliver clearer and more consistent welfare legislation and stronger enforcement. In particular we recognise that, even though there are signs of improvement, there is still a lack of both political will and resources going into the enforcement of existing welfare legislation in Greece. GAWF has been influencing decision makers, on a national and European level, for a number of years now. Although this part of our work may not be as dramatic or photogenic as some of our animal rescues, we see it as every bit as important. A coherent and consistent framework of laws and regulations is the only base on which improvements can be built. Lazy and half-hearted officialdom thrives on lack of clarity and contradiction. So, inevitably, much of what we do when we are lobbying for change involves sitting in committee rooms arguing our case; producing submissions to consultations; commenting on draft legislation; having discussions with civil servants, regulators and law makers, and forming alliances with other organizations (both in Greece and abroad) that share our concerns and views. It isn’t glamourous but it matters. As ‘Animal Action’ we have been long-standing members of EUROGROUP FOR ANIMALS, the only pan-European umbrella organisation for animal welfare. Its network includes over 50 animal welfare organisations, some of which are household names, and all of which share a common aim: to improve the welfare of animals throughout the EU. The network helps to provide national and EU-wide support for the activities of NGOs working to give animals better lives. It has a strong history of campaigning and lobbying and has drawn the attention of governments and public alike to such issues as: the long-distance transportation of live animals, the use of cages in farming; the routine docking of pigs’ tails; the practices followed in slaughterhouses and fish farms, and the confusing labelling of animal products. We continue our lobbying role as an individual organisation, seeking ever-increasing influence on decision-makers in Greece, but we know that sometimes we need to speak for animals with an even louder voice and that means joining forces with others and working together. When we do this, it becomes realistic for us to aim to tackle even some of the big, trans-national welfare problems faced not only by companion animals but also by farm animals and wildlife.