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Animal Welfare in Greece:

For information on the symptoms of a poisoned animal and how to save a posioned animal please see here. This page is dedicated specifically to actions you can take within the Greek legal system to report and prosecute animal poisoners

We no longer have to feel helpless if we have witnessed an animal being poisoned. In the eyes of Greek law this is an utterly illegal act and we may act upon this. The following information is from an excellent brochure on the topic issued by SPAZ:

The implementation of the law lies with the Interior Ministry (i.e. the municipalities) and the Public Order Ministry (i.e. the police). You should, therefore, report the poisoning to the police and the mayor’s office. You do not need to know who poisoned these animals; file a report against unknown persons (minesi kat’agnoston). A toxicology report and vet’s statement can be used as evidence; insist that your report be put in the log book! You should also report this to your local vet and animal welfare group, with photographs when possible.

YOU CAN TAKE ACTION IF YOU SEE SOMEONE PUTTING DOWN POISON BAIT: Try to find someone else to witness it with you. Gather the poisoned food and take to the toxicologist for analysis. Report this incident to the police within 24 hours. If you can, give the name and address of the poisoner. This case can go before a public prosecutor within 48 hours (aftoforo in Greek).

YOU CAN ALSO TAKE ACTION IF SOMEONE THREATENS TO POISON AN ANIMAL: Report the threat to the police. It is helpful to have a witness (not related to you). Give the name and address of the person threatening (if known) and ask the police officer to visit him/her as a warning. If it is not your own pet but a stray that has been threatened, tell the police you are a member of an animal welfare group, that the animals are looked after, neutered and vaccinated and pose no threat to the neighborhood. Insist that your report be recorded! Report the threat to the mayor’s office as well.

The point is that specific action can be taken and poisoners CAN be sucessfully prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

You can also take action by protesting and repeorting to your local municipality incidents of poisoning. You would be surprised how effective this can be, especially if coordinated with an email campaign. If you are not sure how to do this, ask your local animal charity! On the 18th of April 2012, the Dimos of Pelion issued an official notice, signed and stamped by the Vice Mayor of Pelion warning that anyone caught poisoning animals would be fully prosecuted:

Finally, prevention is better than cure and here are some ways to prevent posioning incidents:

  • Neuter your neighborhood strays so that new victims are not born.
  • Do not put puppies on the street; they will not survive; try to find homes for them.
  • Neuter your own pets to prevent unwanted puppies and kittens being born; many abandoned animals come from homes. Who abandons them? Not the mother!
  • Protect your own animal. Animals have been poisoned inside their own gardens or while on a walk.
  • Do not abandon your pet; it is against the law; it will not survive on the street; it will probably be poisoned.