The Pan-Hellenic Coordination Committee of Animal Welfare Unions (Î .Î£.ÎÂ•.) was created in 2008. The idea of its creation originates with the Union of Chania Animal Protection, based on the fact that the animal welfare movement in Greece had no cohesion. There are many animal welfare groups throughout Greece but they did not communicate with each other. It was generally recognised and accepted that the animal welfare issues of concern in Greece needed to be addressed by adopting scientifically proven solutions, and with the support of the State. Our main focus is the issue of stray companion animals, recognising the fact that the only way to successfully address this is to stop these animals reproducing by the introduction of a comprehensive spay/neuter and humane education programme. We recognise that the efforts of animal welfare groups to protect stray animals and care for them is necessary, but itâÂ€Â™s not the answer to the problem âÂ€Â“ on the contrary, it has prolonged it in Greece as the State has not taken the necessary action. The State has an obligation to take measures to stop the problem and educate the citizens so that, over time, the stray animal situation in Greece is reduced and we can hope that eventually there will be no stray animals. As well as addressing the problems associated with stray animals, we are also working towards the introduction of a ban on circus animals; the use of animals for fur production; and to see our country participate in European efforts to ban animal testing in cosmetics. Our strategic goal is to persuade the State to finally stop giving false promises and to start taking animal welfare issues seriously by introducing measures that will eventually solve the problems. We will use all means available to us both within Greece and outside the country.
Most of our efforts have been addressed to the State, the Government, the ministries in charge and other responsible state authorities. We have built up dialogue with the authorities, to whom we have already submitted fully feasible and scientifically proven solutions on many matters. We cooperate with the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, the Ministry of Environment for matters concerning hunting, the Ministry of Civil Protection for the legal obligations of police officers concerning the welfare of animals, the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Education and Religion, for the education and sensitization of the younger generation concerning domestic animals and wildlife.
Our suggestions, mainly to the Ministry of Rural Development and Foods, are aimed at solving the problems or improving the situation. We have undertaken many campaigns including: demonstrations outside the Ministry of Rural Development and Foods; cooperation with major foreign animal welfare organizations; communicated with the competent ministries about their indifferent attitude and lack of action; communicated with the responsible authorities of the European Union; used foreign newspapers as a means of applying pressure; circulated information in the internet; highlighted animal welfare matters through the media, television and radio; and we regularly bombard the Ministers with emails and letters pressing them to take action.