Important changes in the Law for the protection of animals are on the way as the Ministry for Rural Development and Food finally submitted a draft with regulations that aim to protect animals – strays or companion animals. The draft bill foresees no-redeemable penalties for animals abusers and fines up to 30,000 euros. A microchip data base. Ban circuses with animals. The changes come after immense pressure from national and international animal welfare societies and an increasing movement of organized or not organized animal lovers who are fed up seeing mainly dogs and cat to get tortured, hanged, drown, poisoned or shot to death and the culprits mostly go free. The draft Law includes 18 regulations and I try to summarize.
The law will be open to public consultation until April 15, 2011, so, please, make your comments in opengov,gr – but to be political correct in Greek!
It includes 18 new regulations on companion and stray pets and the general system of protection of animals:
1. It bans the participation of each kind of animal in circuses or other similar public spectacle for profit. It bans the participation of mutilated animals in faires.
2. Creation of a Web Based Electronic database of the pets and their onwers.
3. Microchip in dogs and cats for sale is getting compulsory. Compulsory will be also the microchip for all cats and dogs, whether family pets or strays that are being recovered form the strees.
4. Hunter’s license will not be granted ot hundetrs if they don’t microchip their dogs.
5. Pets with no microchip will not be allowed to enter Greece.
6. Similarly prohibited in any way are Ads for adoption or free allocation of pets without the listing of microchip number (This will burden rescuers with additional costs)
7. Determination of specific welfare rules that owners have to follow for their pets.
8. Creation of an organized system of collection and management of stray animals in each municipality, in cooperation with animal welfare associations.
9. The possibility of animal welfare associations to participate actively on the side of municipalities throughout the framework for the protection of animals.
10. All strays who are collected will be microchipped, neutered and treaded.
11. Institutionalization of responsibility of municipalities for any loss or damage caused to a third person by stray animals.
12. Municipal shelters for stray animals are places for temporary and not permanent residence of homeless animals. These shelters are to provide all the necessary medical care to animals in need.
13. The return of stray animals in their natural environment is with certain restrictions. It is not allowed return in areas of hospitals, schools, sports centers, highways, ports, airports, archaeological sites and areas of high tourist traffic(?).
14. The sterilizations carried out on stray animals is made by veterinarians, and even mobile vet units upon a permission. Sterilizations may be carried out for free by foreign volunteer veterinarians.
15. The abuse and cruelty to animals is punishable by imprisonment which cannot be redeemed, and a fine of up to 30,000 euros, regardless of the administrative fine. (what is the imprisonment time?
16. Additional measures to protect animals, provide a multifaceted intervention of Attorney and temporary or permanent removal of animals from the offender.
17. The possibility of transporting small pets via public transport means is allowed, provided the animal is placed in a secure cage and is accompanied by the owner or companion.
18. Finally, tightening both criminal penalties and administrative fines for law breakers which are more stringent in case of relapse, in order to have a full, proportionate, dissuasive and effective system of sanctions.