Following recent developments regarding animal and activist group’s abuse in Santorini during peaceful demonstration on 27/28/29 July 2018, we would like to update ippothesis friends with the following:
Panhellenic Equine Welfare Association, Ippothesis, did not participate nor knew anything about the meeting with the Mayor of Thira and the animal welfare representatives on Friday 20th July. The information that we have for any development, is taken only through press releases and posts of those who participated.
In the events of the activists we have chosen not to participate only due to financial reasons. At our bank account today we have an income of €24.80 and monthly expenses 300 – 500€. Through an official statement a few days ago, we strongly supported activists who appeared as organizers of this event.
With initiative of Donkeys Land, which is the Greek Center for the donkey, we participated on Saturday 28th July in a joint action by associations for the equine protection, handing out leaflets (expenses of printing was covered by the associations involved) for equine abuse in Santorini.
As an association that deals with equine protection and has actively requested from the competent authorities (question in the Greek and European Parliament, petition, submission of proposals from 2016 in the Ministry of Rural Development), Legislative and supervisory framework along with the implementation of a Code of Practice that includes all categories of equines, we have every right to express our views based on Press Release of Mayor of Santorini Mr. Zorzos and clarify that we are not pleased with the developments concerning equine abuse on the island for the following reasons:
Since 2003 on this island local and organizations from abroad have undertaken action trying to help placing shelters which Municipality never maintained. Equidae owners choose not to use them for reasons unknown
Although it was reported that the municipality of Thira is the first time that has a meeting with welfare associations this is a big lie. It has happened again with the same old story, Mayor giving promises not kept.
Donkey Sanctuary visits the island 3 to 4 times a year trying to stop the abuse of equines. Veterinary support by qualified vets through the organization that administers programs of equidae, Animal Action – GAWF was given for many years by a team of the best professionals and these programs are administered by foreign donations. Today this team is visiting the island taking care the animals of the shelter.
The Mayor of Santorini via broadcast television contact, had declared that municipality founded an equine retirement home center. Unfortunately, that the treatment of animals is maintained by donations from abroad.
In 2008 Municipality trying to find sponsors and money contacted a few foreign organizations to create a shelter. When sponsors left the island municipality abandoned the support. Also, in 2014 a President of a municipal district closed the road driving to the animal shelter, where elderly equines were living, in an attempt to close the shelter forever. Current mayor has not provided even one worker for the cleaning since October 2017.
Municipality press release states “we will proceed to update the normative concerning equidae whilst held full recording and of those animals, where, as discussed, there will be funding for this action.”
We would like to inform the Mayor that the implementing regulation 2015/262 methods for the identification and registration of equidae are directly applicable and municipality has already delayed to apply it. Also, there are already previous laws and directives embedded in national legislation that he hasn’t applied either for many years.
Owners and the Municipality are obliged to microchip them and nobody is obliged to pay them for doing it. On an island with millions of visitors, and increased revenue, it is at least frightening to ask for money to meet the obligations of people who earn at the expense of animals. On an island with millions of visitors, and therefore increased revenue, it is at least frustrating to ask money to meet their obligations the same people who win money against animal welfare.
Same owners who buy new equines every month from well known animal traders (if the Mayor wants details we can provide them to him or he may ask Port Authority if they have recorded them because animals don’t travel by helicopter) how they do not have the money to buy electronic labeling for animals that give them a profit?
Besides, as they proudly say: donkeys and mules are for work, horses for show off.
Certainly, the electronic tagging is not convenient in case of control because this way the same animal cannot appear for control from different owners.
Audit principles were not defined, unless all together close the eye on the existing ones, which for many years have taken advantage of legislation uncertainties with a result of not being able to distinguish equine abuse from welfare.
He also calls for funding for an ultrasound machine. They have been discussing with equine vets what machines they need? Which ultrasound machine? Who will handle this medical device? Same one who keeps equines tied up from legs, without shelter, without water, who ties them behind motorbikes and cars? Who hits them hard and brutally? And now begs for sponsors so as to change his behavior?
The good discussion conditions were those before the attack on the activists group or after?
Mayor and representative of equine owners didn’t recognize any of the men who have beaten the activists? Photos were immediately published. No familiar faces for the authorities? No one recognized them? We would appreciate it if the mayor or the representative of equine owners would go to the police station to sue them. But that means losing some voters.
When controls were made to the stable establishment there was an independent equine vet or even a veterinarian with experience in equines? Owners brought the healthy equines to be checked? And by whom?
Ultimately the question is as follows: after all these reactions of people all over the world against animal abuse, demonstration, videos and photos of brutally abuse they have resulted in the promise of funding for this Municipality? The Mayor needs the help of activists and welfare associations to bring tears to the eyes of sponsors and money to the municipality?