Letter of our Federation to Mr. Andrea Gavinelli Head of Unit at European Commission – Animal Welfare

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The Pan-hellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation  ( 50 Assciations)

The Pan-hellenic Coordination Committee of 115 Animal Welfare Unions

The InterScience Group of Faculty


To:  Mr. Andrea Gavinelli

       Head of Unit at European Commission – Animal Welfare


C.C.   The President of  the Hellenic Republic, Athens

The Prime Minister

The Minister of Tourism

The Minister of Interior

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Union of District Attorneys

The Mass Media
Dear Mr. Gavinelli

The purpose of this communication is to to highlight certain important issues of the animal welfare in Greece and above all to ask for your intermediation  as to resolve some of those as well as your intervention to the Greek Government in the context of your authorities.

At the same time we also address this request to the President of the Hellenic Republic and the Greek Prime Minister more so now that Greece took over the EU Presidency for the first 6 months of 2014

The image our country conveys regarding the welfare of animals in general and in particular of pets is far from the one of a EU member state.

It is even far more from a civilized nation, especially a nation that taught the world culture.

In Greece there are some laws, which,  besides being timid,  do not enforced, as similarily the EU guidelines and directives for Farm animals are not enforced.

Some of the most serious issues we face with respect to pets are:

A. The well-known, throughout the world, barrel-dogs.

It concerns thousands of dogs, mostly belonging to farmers but also to ordinary people, who for the sake of guarding herds or  houses and belongings are strapped forever onto streets, mountains, isolated areas, courtyardss, everywhere, as to prevent either the herds to go out of the limit or the invasion of undesirable persons.

These dogs live their entire life tied with chains, and even if some of them die, remained tied there, dead until their owner finds it out and replace them.

They have no veterinary care thus they get sick and die helpless. In the summer they remain without water for many days, they feed themselves on flock carcasses and they are exposed to the extreme heat conditions over 40 C degrees.  In the winter they are helplessly exposed to the most adverse weather conditions.

Pictures of such animals. have travelled the world while the existing legal frame is unclear and blurry.

Despite the continued over the years efforts of the animal welfare organisations to change it,  this phenomenon still thrives, as the Greek Government, through time, is indifferent both to the animals themselves and to the distressing image which affects our tourism.

We would like to present to you relevant material to enable you to get as clear picture as possible for the barrel dogs.

aIn late April, our Federation will embark to a campaign for the animals in chains, which will include press conferences nationwide, various events and happenings and issue  resolutions to any relevant direction.

Our request to you is to support during that period our campaign in a way that you will see fit, so that your intervention will bring actual results  and the Greek Government will have to face and solve this miserable and sad spectacle by implementing specific regulations and EU decisions.

B. Poisonings of the fauna

In Greece, thousands of animals of the local fauna are poisoned every year by dangerous toxic drugs that anyone can easily buy from the market with absolutely no control.

The authorities remain indifferent in front of the death of thousands of animals every year, that has no end.

Unfortunately, and as Greeks we are ashamed for this, poisoning is part of the culture of the Greek people as a way to banish stray animals and the wild fauna, particularly during the hunting season.

Thousands protests of Greek and other European citizens over the years have not managed to raise awareness and to activated effectively the Greek competent authorities.

For the same reasons as above, we request your intervention, as a competent Commissioner of animal welfare, in order to stop the Greeks from murdering thousands of stray animals, the creation of which they should have themselves to blame, by this excruciating inhumane way.

C. Uncontrolled pet births by individuals

Although our country has ratified the European Convention for the protection of pet animals in its national legislation since 1992, by which is obliged to set controls on the animal population, 22 years after still has not taken any measures on both overpopulation and animal traceability.

The result is that anyone can have his animal to give birth as many times as he likes without having secured the future of newborns, in a country where the number of strays are estimated to reach the 3,000,000, a growing number in progression due to current Greek economic crisis.

The animal welfare organizations continously collect animals from the garbage bins or find them thrown in the streets, while there are no coordinated, systematic and continuous strays neutering programs  by the State and the municipalities, just some sporadically and therefore ineffective.

At the same time, the help from the EU volunteer veterinarians is obstructed and get complicated, since various trade lobbies keep them away from their voluntary offer.

D. Farm Animals

As regards these animals our country has not implemented any European Union legislation for the protection of their Welfare.

Recently Greece has convicted for denying to implement legislation on battery cages, although it had 13 years at its disposal to adapt it.

It took this convinction to conform its legislation, in papers, whereas in fact the actions are far from these animal welfare.

Sheep, goats, pigs, equidae live under miserable conditions, the ones domesticated are killed without anaesthesia with what this implies for the animals.

Dear Mr. Gavinelli,

For all the above we extend our request to you asking for your immediate, dynamic and effective intervention so that Greece and its citizens become, substantially and not in just in papers, EU citizens.

Looking forward to your response, we thank you in advance for your time and attention,



Anastasia Vyssinou-Mpompolaki      

President of

-The Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation  (PFPO) and

-The Pan-hellenic Coordination Committee of 115 Animal Welfare Unions.



Reggina Argyraki

Coordinator of the InterSience Group of  Faculty of PFPO