A letter was sent to all municipalities and the Special Secretariat for Animal Protection of the Ministry of Interiors demanding the feeding of strays in schools and surroundings.
This letter could be a challenge for children and citizens in general to develop values such as solidarity and support: As it is known, in case that children are in contact with animals they can cultivate the empathy, responsibility, and respect to nature.
However, we have been informed that sometimes parents, teachers, and municipal authorities believe that schools and its surroundings must be a sterile zone because of ignorance or bias and arbitrary interpretation of legislation. It should be noted that the stray population could be reduced only through an intensive and continuous sterilization program under the responsibility of municipalities and with active contracts according to the Greek law.
For that reason, we would like to make clear that:
1) Under the current law N. 4830/21, as well as the previous one N. 4039/12, the feeding of strays, is allowed anywhere without exemptions provided that hygiene and cleaning rules are applied. Two relevant circulars have already been issued by the Supreme Court of Cassation (1/2013, 02/2020).
2) In addition, a relevant case-law condemned the violators implementing the legislation (decision of self-evident three-member Magistrates Court N. 4721/19). The case law refers to the strict discipline for those who obstruct the feeding and watering of strays and poison them. The removal of bowls is considered to be a form of passive abuse as animals can reach to death because of starvation.
3) The attempted poisoning as well as any form of active or passive abuse is punishable by severe activities and fines, i.e., up to 10 years in jail and direct payments of 50.000 euros.
4) It follows from the foregoing that the right to feed, water, and generally take care of strays and all animals is guaranteed by the European Union and local law while the obstruction and prohibition of these activities is severally punished.
Taking into account the abovementioned and the need to develop empathy for animals among students we suggest that schools are enforced to take care of strays and animal welfare programs are implemented by local authorities.
The PFPO’s education committee is able to organize seminars for volunteers, in order to present to your school, if you are interested in, our education programs, approved by the Ministry of Education. Finally, you are kindly requested to inform all schools in your region, by sharing this letter or by any other way of your choice. We will be very happy if to contact us to cooperate on the management of strays and influence good conduct against them.