Over the last 9 years, a number of organisations and individuals with expertise in wildlife protection have repeatedly filed reports and complaints with every competent authority (Ministries, Directorates, Prefecture of Attica) concerning the state of the Greek Centre for the Protection of Wild Animals (EKPAZ) on Aegina. Nothing has been done.
The tragic result of the indifference shown by the authorities is that a Centre that started out proudly as a rescue and recuperation facility dedicated to the temporary care of sick, injured, exhausted or young animals prior to their release into the wild, has gradually turned into a nightmare of permanent hoarding.
Currently, there are large numbers of animals held at the Centre with no prospect of release. These range from domesticated species (such as chickens, ducks, goats, etc.) to wild ones like boars and many kinds of birds, including some rare or endangered birds of prey that can be found in CITES list of high priority protected species.
Even though a high proportion of these animals was admitted to the Centre with mild clinical symptoms, such as exhaustion, and could therefore have been released almost immediately, this never happened, and many have effectively become institutionalized and no longer able to survive in the wild.
Now, a situation that has been bad for some time, has turned into a full-scale emergency.
Appalling conditions prevail throughout the neglected Centre, with many factors putting the animals’ lives at risk. There is a shameful absence of basic hygiene, while the lack of running water and the dense, tinder-dry vegetation surrounding the installations presents a real and present fire hazard. What’s more important is that the Centre is no longer financially viable and even the volunteers have now withdrawn their support. There’s no money for feed or to pay staff salaries.
It looks as though the animals are just going to be left to die.
We, therefore, call upon the General Directorate of Forestry of the Ministry of Environment and Energy to:
- Immediately discontinue the Centre’s operation and announce its closure
- Proceed, under specialist supervision, with the immediate release of all animals that would survive in the wild
- Hand over all non-releasable animals to institutions and organisations that have the expertise and infrastructure necessary to care for them and provide them with suitable living conditions for the rest of their lives.
PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION HERE
Submission of 10.000 signatures for the Rescue of the Animals at EKPAZ, read more here