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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Animals suffer in Greece

After its inclusion in the European Union, additional pressure was placed on the Greek government to bring its animal policies in line with those of the EU and to enforce existing laws. In 2007 the European Commission reported Greek authorities to the European Court of Justice for continuing lack of action for animal welfare. A commission statement added: “The decision to take this action against Greece follows persistent shortcomings identified in the field of animal welfare over a number of years. The standard of animal welfare in Greece remains below par and the necessary legislation has not been adequately implemented. Therefore, the commission has no alternative but to refer the case to the Court of Justice.”
As a member of the European Union, Greece is bound to wide-ranging EU regulations regarding the treatment of animals. The EU regulates the transport of animals and issues “passports” to traveling pets. Welfare groups sometimes are able to transport strays to other EU countries for adoption. Unfortunately, they have been hampered by widespread rumors that the animals are wanted for laboratory experiments or fur rather than as pets and have had to battle with a resistant bureaucracy. There have been numerous instances of officials delaying the removal of animals from Greece.
Nine Lives’ neutering programme costs nearly 10,000 euros per year, while our feeding costs are around 600 euros each month.  
The response to government inaction is the formation of many small shelters and welfare societies by both Greek citizens and expatriates. A number of these efforts are affiliated with groups from the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, elsewhere in Europe, and even Canada. As a rule these groups are focused on one island or locality. Some have adopted colonies of feral cats and follow trap-neuter-return programs, treating diseased animals, giving inoculations, and neutering to control breeding, often with the help of volunteer veterinarians and technicians from sponsoring countries. Local groups also attempt to find permanent homes for kittens and cats that are tame enough to be adopted. Feeding stations are established that both sustain the cats and provide a means of monitoring their condition and numbers. Some hotels will allow feeding stations to be set up on their grounds.

Greece and the Greek Islands are all inundated with stray, abandoned and feral cats. The majority of them are born in the spring and survive through the kindness of tourists who feed them.  At the end of the summer season the tourists leave and then some survive through the kindness of local Greeks, some die of starvation and some are unfortunately fall foul of cat hating people who poison them.  Despite this their breeding potential is phenomenal.  If an average female produces three litters of four kittens annually and the female kittens go on at the same rate, the result is about 5,000 cats from a single breeding female in four years.  
If you would like to make a monetary donation to help us in our work, our Alpha Bank IBAN number is GR2701401280128002786010729, BIC code CRBAGRAA

The account is in the names of Eleni Kefalopoulou & Evgenia Mataragka.

Please include your name and address so that we can send you a receipt along with our grateful thanks.  
Donations of cat food, spot-on anti-parasite treatment (eg Frontline or Stronghold), cat-carrying cages, cat hospitalisation cages, cat traps or any other equipment are most gratefully received.

We also warmly welcome any saleable items – such as books, clean clothes, accessories, DVDs, household ornaments and kitchen items – that you can spare for us to sell at our monthly carboot sales.

If you have items to donate, please email us at

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