Since our creation as a charity in 1966 we have worked to protect animals by using the law and where necessary calling for legislative change to prevent cruelty and relieve the suffering of animals in Greece.
Whether it is changing policies or securing new legislation, we will engage with local and national decision makers, institutions and public bodies to improve animal welfare standards. Campaigning is critical to the long term change we hope to achieve – whether it be strengthening the law or achieving longer term changes to Greek citizens’ attitudes and behaviour.
Improvements to welfare standards face four main obstacles:
- Delays in harmonising Greek regulations with those coming from the EU
- Regressive new laws
- Issues with enforcing / implementing Greek legislation
- Changing public attitudes and opinions
Current Legislative Context in Greece
On 23 March 2018 the Greek Government introduced a short, last minute amendment to a bill on Protected Areas. If passed it would have had disastrous consequences for the hundreds of dedicated local animal welfare groups in Greece, many of whom receive our support.
The purpose of the clause was to “restrict the illegal handling of strays by private individuals and welfare groups”; thought to be part of an effort to take animal welfare volunteers out of the equation and transfer responsibility to the Municipalities, despite there being little evidence that they have either the resources or expertise to do so effectively.
After a public backlash the offending amendment was quickly withdrawn.
We understand that the Government’s intention is not to amend and re-present the existing bill, but to bring forward entirely new legislation, opening up the possibility of a new protection framework for companion animals in Greece.
The Minister of State has stated his intention to produce a first draft of this legislation by early summer, although there is some uncertainty around this timetable.
This is a critical moment. The new legislation could either deal a serious blow to animal welfare standards, or it could transform the lives of vulnerable animals and help embed a permanent shift in public attitudes.
We must seize the opportunity that this represents by working partners and other animal welfare organisations to make a powerful case for legislative reforms that will deliver lasting change to animal welfare standards in Greece.
- To bring about changes to the law to ensure practical and sustainable protection for all companion animals.
- To begin the process of encouraging a long-term shift in Greek citizens’ attitude and behaviour towards companion animals.
- Launch Date and Duration: upon completion of an agreed Position Statement, through to the competition of the legislative process