Cash injection for Greek strays

Discussion in 'Γενικά' started by Greg, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. Greg

    Greg New Member

    Cash injection for Greek strays

    European NGOs are funnelling over a million euros of aid into Greece everyyear to address chronic animal welfare problems

    CORDELIA MADDEN


    Fed up: foreigners are frustrated by the Greek state's seeming inability to enforce animal protection laws

    BRITONS, Germans, Danes, Swedes and other foreign fundraisers are paying for the Greek government's failure to implement animal welfare legislation, footing the bill for neutering and veterinary care of strays and education campaigns for the public.

    Between them, ten Europe-based animal protection organisations channel over a million euros every year into Greek animal welfare, the Athens News has learned. The total amount coming from abroad is certainly higher, however, if all charities are taken into account, along with money spent by tourists.

    The Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF), headquartered and fundraising in Britain, spends nearly 300,000 euros per year on neutering schemes, awareness campaigns and education. In 2005 (the latest year for which a budget breakdown is available), it gave out 132,409 pounds - just under 200,000 euros - in grants to 38 animal welfare societies and wildlife organisations throughout Greece. It also spent a further 77,017 euros on educational visits to schools, running first-aid courses, printing and dispersing leaflets and posters about responsible ownership, the importance of neutering and microchipping, and against poisoning and abandoning animals.

    Greek Animal Rescue (GAR), also in the UK, spends close to 120,000 pounds sterling (179,000 euros) annually in Greece. Its founder is unequivocal about the impact of these donations: "The welfare of animals in Greece is funded mainly by foreign charities," says Vesna Jones, who set up the society in 1989 after a holiday in Greece. Since then, GAR and its sister society GAR-Canada have poured more than a million euros into Greece for neutering, medical care, finding homes for animals and feeding programmes.

    Two smaller UK-based charities set up solely to raise money for Greek animals between them rustle up 50,000 pounds (74,500 euros) a year for neutering programmes, equipment, food and medicines.

    Greek animals are also among the recipients of yearly donations from societies with an international presence. From its 200,000 pound (298,000 euro) budget for 26 countries in priority areas of southern and eastern Europe and east Asia, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) International provided just over 14,000 pounds sterling (20,800 euros) in aid to Greece in 2006. More than half of this was in the form of grants to local animal welfare organisations, including money for an animal collection vehicle, veterinary bedding and a campaign on the welfare of exotic animals. The rest was used for training purposes, such as a stray dog handling course for municipal officials.

    The Scotland-based Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, meanwhile, spent approximately 50,000 pounds (74,500 euros) in Greece last year, chiefly for spay and neuter programmes. Expenses for 2007 are expected to double. The Marchig Trust also supports welfare projects in India, Bolivia, South Africa, Lebanon, Portugal, Malta and Romania, among other countries.

    But it's not only the Brits who have a soft spot for Greek strays. Denmark's Graeskehunde sends approximately 100,000 euros per year to Greek societies and individuals for neutering and other operations, medical supplies and food, chew toys and collars.

    German group Arche Noah spent a total of 280,000 euros in Greece in 2005 (the last year for which an itemised budget is available): the figure breaks down into approximately 93,000 euros for veterinary equipment and blood tests, 10,000 euros for feeding programmes, 36,000 euros for the costs of transporting adopted dogs from Greece to families in Germany, 107,000 euros for the financial support of an animal shelter on Crete and 34,000 euros for supplementary expenses.

    A smaller, Saxony-based German society, set up with the aim of helping needy animals in southern Europe, sends approximately 34,600 euros to Greece annually, while the Swedish charity CHANS Hund spends about
    5,800 euros a year on neutering and veterinary care for Greek strays.

    The government's role

    According to law 3170 of 2003, municipalities are required to implement catch-neuter-release programmes for stray dogs, organised either by a special committee set up by the city council or by a recognised local animal welfare society. In theory, the money spent on neutering is reimbursed by the central government, out of the agriculture ministry's one billion euro annual budget. But only a handful of municipalities have enforced this legislation, and charities are left to pick up the tab in the remainder. Further, the burden of organising and funding neutering programmes for stray and feral cats falls entirely on welfare organisations, as there is no provision for cat population control programmes in Greek law.

    Neutering is widely regarded as the most effective solution to chronic stray animal problems. Private Greek veterinarians usually give a 30 percent reduction for the neutering and spaying of strays, but even the discounted operations for cats cost from 30 to 75 euros and the same procedures for dogs anything between 60 and 200 euros.

    The agriculture ministry has not responded to Athens News' questions about how many municipalities and societies have been reimbursed for neutering strays, nor about the total annual ministry budget for sterilisation programmes. A survey of major societies in Attica has revealed only one recipient of central government funds since 2004.

    Charities have also been picking up the tab for publicity drives alerting the community to the fact that the common practices of deliberate poisoning and abandonment of companion animals have been prohibited under Greek law since 1981. The government itself has launched no media campaign on this or any other aspect of animal welfare.

    GAR's Vesna Jones says it is sad that Greece, an EU member since 1981, has to be propped up to such an extent by foreign charities. "Thanks to EU membership and tourism, Greece has prospered immensely over the past 25 years or so," she says, "but it is only the people who have benefited. Poisoning of strays is still looked upon as an acceptable form of stray control."

    Carol McBeth of GAWF estimates that there are over one hundred animal welfare organisations in Greece. More than half of these receive funding from overseas-based welfare groups, whose members get sponsored to run marathons, organise bake sales and bazaars, buy charity calendars and set up standing orders through their banks to provide a lifeline for abused, injured, ill or simply unwanted animals in Greece. But McBeth is quick to point out that her society, at least, does not provide complete funding for any charity. "We expect them to be doing fundraising themselves as well," she says. "We're just offering a helping hand."

    Annual expenditure in Greece

    From the UK - 530,000 euros

    From int'l NGOs - 95,000 euros

    From Denmark - 100,000 euros

    From Germany - 315,000 euros

    From Sweden - 6,000 euros

    Total - 1,046,000 euros

    (numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand euros)

    Tourists take action

    Scores of kittens continue to be born and poisoned each year on Hydra, an island which is repeatedly criticised by tourists for its poor animal welfare record. Efforts by NGOs to set up subsidised neutering programmes for the cats have, until now, met with local opposition

    TOURISTS aren't turning a blind eye to animal suffering. Protests from visitors concerning the abuse of animals are so common that the ministry of tourism standard complaints form has "Animals, maltreatment" listed among other such popular grievances as unscrupulous taxi drivers and overpriced restaurants (http://www.gnto.gr/pages.php?pageID=921&langID=2).

    Jeanne Marchig, founder and chairman of the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, says that the amount tourists spend in Greece on strays may amount to millions of euros. "My estimate is that approximately 10 percent of British, German, Dutch and Scandinavian tourists will feed and provide for veterinary care for dogs and cats they find in a terrible condition. If each of these spends 10 to 20 euros (and often much more) we reach considerable amounts," she points out.

    Greek Animal Rescue receives a constant flow of letters, emails and phone calls throughout the year from distressed tourists. "We have just come back from Crete," reads one recent epistle. "We have never had such a terrible holiday and ended up rescuing a sweet mongrel dog that was permanently on a chain and totally starving. Finding the money to bring him back to England is a real struggle for us, but we just could not leave him where he was." Another: "I've just returned from a holiday on Santorini and Folegandros, where my friends and I were horrified to see donkeys and goats that had their feet tethered together so that they could hardly shuffle around. We couldn't see any way that it was possible for them to lie down or find food or shelter."

    "I have just got back home [to Finland] from a holiday on Karpathos," reads a third. "In the middle of a remote location we found a puppy on a 2m chain (photo). He could barely reach the water bowl. We were not sure whether someone was looking out for him, so we bought some bones and toys and returned. The puppy was delighted to see us. His future has been bothering both my wife and me. Is there something that can be done? I hope that the puppy is not left to die on its own. Unpleasant observations such as these spoil the memories of vacations."

    ATHENS NEWS , 03/08/2007, page: A07
    Article code: C13246A071
  2. vOOz

    vOOz New Member

    kai pou pane ola auta ta lefta? kala mas kanoun.. na mas kanoun kseftila na ma8oume..
  3. Greg

    Greg New Member

    Αυτό αναρωτιέμαι και εγώ.....δυστυχώς υποψιάζομαι πως μερικοί τρώνε καλά!!Ξέρετε η κλασσική κομπίνα!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Τι έλεγε αυτό με λίγα λόγια γιατί δεν...... :roll:
  5. vOOz

    vOOz New Member

    oti i ellada pernei ekatomyria ka8e xrono gia ta adespota.. apo eksoteriko kai europaiki enosi.. alla emeis eimaste akomi gematoi adespota kai genika mas psilokseftilizoun..
  6. Marin

    Marin Administrator

    Το ερώτημα δεν είναι που πηγαίνουν τα λεφτά που έρχονται από τις οργανώσεις του εξωτερικού προς τα σωματεία της Ελλάδας, αλλά που πάνε αυτά που προορίζονται για τα αδέσποτα από το Ελληνικό Δημόσιο...?

    Αυτά που έρχονται απο οργανωσεις του εξωτερικου κατα το 70% τους πηγαινουν στα ζωα. Και δινω αυτο το ποσοστό γιατί υπάρχουν κάποια σωματεία / ομάδες ανεπίσημες, που όντως τα τρώνε.

    Μαρίνα
  7. vOOz

    vOOz New Member

    To Ελληνικο δημοσιο λογικα μπερδευτηκε το καημενο και νομιζει οτι βοηθαει τα ζωακια δινοντας τα λεφτα στα σκυλαδικα! καθαρα παραξηγηση ρε παιδια :Χ

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