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Global Press

GREECE,  A DREAM VACATION ?

or the DOORWAY TO HELL?


Rescue
of 'Gem'

GEM - was an old setter
(about 8 years old)
who was abandoned
at the rubbish dump.

His teeth were completely
worn down probably as
result of chewing on his 
chain all his life.

It is indeed possible
that his teeth were
filed down on purpose....
A horribly painful procedure!

He is the loveliest,
most gentle natured dog
and sadly had great
difficulties living at the dump.

He could not find anything
to eat and if he did,
because of the condition
of his tiny teeth his teeth,
was unable to eat properly.

He also had a
Marcel tumor on his
leg and mouth
and has since undergone
surgery for a
ligament repair.

He has been treated for all ailments and thank God,
he has a wonderful
home in the UK.



 

 

 POLITICIANS 

News Article
Marijo Anne Gillis WAG/NY

Deliberate animal abuse and willful neglect are rampant in Greece. For decades, local and international animal welfare organizations have urged the Greek government to implement humane animal policies. Recommendations have included nationwide low-cost spay/neuter programs, humane education campaigns for children and adults, and the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of animal abuse crimes.

Marijo Gillis, founder of WAG-New York (Welfare for Animals in Greece-a Political Lobby Group) and a WAG associate attended meetings in Athens with powerful government officials and the 2004 Athens Olympic Committee during the week of June 23, 2003. WAG participated in several TV programs, radio broadcasts and press conferences.

We pulled no punches when responding to questions from journalists. The mass poisoning of abandoned animals in preparation for the Olympic Games was one of many critical issues discussed. Meetings and negotiations resulted in the issuance of a formal press release outlining "Stray Animal Initiatives" only for the greater Athens area. Suspiciously, purported reform seems slated only for areas of tourist concentration at the upcoming 2004 Olympic Games. It is doubtful whether reform will continue after the global spotlight shining upon Greece is diverted to other venues.

As present, laws and initiatives continue to be ignored by Greek officials and citizens, future positive animal welfare action in Athens looks doubtful at best. In spite of promises, previous experience with the Greek Government and societal mores leads us to believe that any promises made at these meetings or the AOC's and the municipality of Athens publicized initiatives will prove futile.

The horrifying plight of companion and farm animals in the rest of mainland Greece and the islands is not being addressed. A flourishing and unregulated puppy mill trade from Eastern Europe contributes to a 75% death rate for the puppies, many of whom perish before one month of age and are discarded (some while still alive) in trash containers and dumps. Abused farmed animals who reach the killing floors of Greek slaughterhouses face an equally gruesome fate.

Greek officials and the new legislation are stranded in rhetoric; complete with placating words, ill-defined legal provisions, and inadequate protection. The Bill for Owned & Stray Animals (law 3170) has just been enacted and, as it stands, I see it as a failure waiting to happen.

It is illegal in Greece to poison an animal; so stated in Greek law # 1197/1981, Article 8 and Law # 3170/2003, Article 12. A person who kills, abuses or abandons an animals will be punished by up to six months incarceration and perhaps a fine of 300 to 1500 euros.

Either the illiteracy rate among Greek law enforcement exerts and officials is abnormally high or police oversight for brutal criminal acts perpetrated against animals is an unwritten clause in the law.

If past history is any indication of reality in Greece, these legal mandates will never move from paper to enforced legislation. In the meantime adults, children and, allegedly, government agencies, continue to poison, shoot, hang, drown and starve abandoned animals. Aging donkeys, too worn to earn their keep, are tossed over cliffs or sent to the slaughterhouse.

"There are no offenders or witnesses in a country that turns a blind eye on animal cruelty."
"Brenda Shoss"

Invitation
From The
City Of
Athens


The Mayor of Athens, Mrs. Dora Bakoyianni issued a formal invitation to WAG to attend the 2004 Athens Olympic International Press Conference and Reception for foreign press which was held in Athens, Greece in March of 2004. Ms. Bakoyianni, the daughter of former Prime Minister Mitsotakis is an extremely dynamic, intelligent woman and a consummate politician. She is presently serving her post as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. We actually like her quite a bit and would hope that she would carry the "torch" for the animals.

WAG became the Olympic Committees worst nightmare at this pre-Olympic press conference. We arrived in Athens armed with several hundred "press kits". They contained graphic photos of animal abuse, neglect and the Aushwitz like shelters housing the sick and dying. Also included were articles and testimonies revealing the pre-Olympic slaughter taking place in the greater Attika area.

During the glamorous reception, my dear friend Isabella Grashof and I chased down every major broad- casting network exec- utive and journalists from every corner of the globe; engaged them in conversation and slapped a "press "kit  into their hands. We were on a mission and unstoppable.

During the "question and answer" period, WAG took the microphone, addressed the city's officials and brought up the issues of the mass poisoniongs, the alleged government cover up and attempt at deception. After a fumbled attempt by politicians and the city's press secretary to distract the attention of the  international press, the microphone was literally grabbed from our hands.

A few days later, we were guests on several radio programs and were bombarded with questions during several press conferences. We certainly didn't win any popularity contests with Greek officials.

After 25 years of "activism" carried out with finese and diplomacy; we realized we were "spitting in the Greek wind".  We decided it was high time to employ more aggressive strategies. The Greek government had left us no other alternative!

Your support of these helpless creatures is vital to their protection and survival. Please participate in a BOYCOTT of Greece in order to pressure Greek officials to address reform. Their tourist industry is the mainstay of the Greek economy.

We have learned through years of pleading, negotiating and presenting plausible ideas, that unless the financial integrity of a resistive nation or individual is threatened, attention to critical issues needing reconciliation and corrective action is usually ignored.

Encourage your friends and colleagues to join the united voice of compassionate people everywhere.

Together, we can enlighten the majority about atrocities in Greece and send a clear message to the Greek State that no civilized nation condones animal cruelty. Let us stand as one on behalf of the voiceless who suffer. United we have the opportunity to reverse a horrifying reality and create positive change in a nation which has been resistive to outside advice or influence.

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