Extrajudicial Letter of Protest about the Attica Park

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To 

1.Regional Governor of Attica

Mr. Giannis Sgouros 

2. Any competent authority of the Regional Government 

c.c.

General Supervisor of Public Administration

Mr. L. Rakintzis

The Public Prosecutor’s Office

Public Prosecutor Ms. A. Theodoropoulou,

Minister of Agricultural Development and Foods

Mr. A. Tsaftaris

The competent Commissioner for Environment of the E.U.

Mr.   Janez Potočnik,

Head of the E.U. Department of Animal Welfare

Mr. Andrea Gavineli

Mass Media                                                                                                

                                                                                                      Athens,10.04.2014                                                      

                                                                                       

Dear Regional Governor,

we would like to strongly protest about the indifference of your authorities to a very important matter, the Attica Park. Hundreds of citizens in our country are concerned about this problem.  

As you probably know, the Attica Park has been open illegally for one year, as its operation permit has not been renewed.

We would also like to inform you, that the operation of the Attica Park is illegal anyway. To be exact, it is against article 46 of Law 4235/14 (and the previous law 4039/12 which is still in force), which expressly states that:

«1. From the prohibitions provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 12 are exempt, the legally operating zoological parks, the aquariums, the  pet shops, the wild life protection centers, the game breeding businesses and the farming exhibitions,

which are governed by special specification, under the condition that no shows take place there, which involve the participation of animals, with the exemption of horse races and performances, including hurdle jumping and riding triathlon.  

Therefore, the “educational” shows with dolphins (with ticket), are expressly prohibited by our legislation and the animal welfare movement, with the support of the European animal rights movement, is struggling for the ban of the use of animals in the shows of the Attica Park. These shows have taken place illegally for years

Moreover, we would like to let you know the following points.

In 1999 the Attica Zoological Park was given a building permit (number 39/1999) to build “Bird breeding farming facilities – Storehouses” and since then the permit has never been reviewed.  

On 19/03/2008 the Regional Government of Attica – Forests Direction, approves of the Zoological Park operation for 5 years. 

On March 2010 the first four dolphins arrive in the country, breaking the International Treaty CITES, with certificates that have expired.  

In October 2010 7 more dolphins are imported in the same way.  

All the dolphins are confiscated by the competent authority CITES in 11/2010 and 12/2010 and the confiscation documents are sent to the Public Prosecutor of Athens.  

Therefore, there is a clear breach of Government Gazette ΦΕΚ 69Α/3-3-2004 and the 1999/22/EC regarding the legal acquisition of animals by zoological parks, after the above mentioned illegal acts were found by the competent authorities. However, the Regional Government never revoked the operation permit of this zoological park, as it was obliged by the law.   

From 2010 to the present day breach of the law has often taken place in the facilities of the Attica Zoological Park   

a) Illegal swimming pool (for the dolphin show) and other illegal constructions around it.

b) The café was closed by decision of the Mayor, as it did not have an operation permit.  

Only for breach a) a ticket of  1.055.118 euros was imposed in 2010 (construction) and 527.559 per year.  

At the same time, the Fire Service of Kropia, takes the decision to stop protecting the Park from fire, as it is proven to be dangerous because of the illegal constructions.  

In article 6 par. b) of GG 69Α/3-3-2004, it is stated that the issuance of an operating permit is only possible when the applicant has all the permits provided for by the legislation in force (which is not the case with the Park, as its fire protection has been refused). Moreover, in article 6 par. d) it is stated that no prosecution should have been made, regarding the legislation “about establishment and operation of zoological parks” (prosecution for the illegal constructions, confiscation of dolphins and prosecution for the shows in defiance of articles 12 and 13 of Law 4039/2012) 

The operation permit of the Attica Zoological Par expired in March 2013 , as we mentioned above, and since then the business is being run without a permit.  

Dear Mr. Regional Governor, 

For these reasons we demand that: 

a. The permit is not renewed, although the French owner of the Attical Park has already applied for it to be renewed, as there has been breach of the law. Conditional renewal, proposed by your offices, is not acceptable (GENERAL DIRECTORATE OF QUALITY OF LIFE, DIRECTORATE OF ENVIRONMENT, letter with register number: 236673/13)

b. You seal the business in cooperation with other competent authorities. 

c. You contact the competent authorities (Central Management Authority CITES), to make sure that the existing dolphins and other wild animals are well and are transferred to other zoological parks, members of ΕΑΖΑ and  

d. You take the necessary action  for the prosecution of anyone guilty of passive animal abuse in the animal park ( relevant article in the paper LIFO  http://www.lifo.gr/team/omorfia/46495 ). It is your legal and moral obligation to do so. 

Otherwise we are going to make use of any legal and extrajudicial measures against you.  

In anticipation of your answer,

 

For

the Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environment Federation (P.F.P.O) &

the Panhellenic Coordination Committee of Animal Welfare Assosications