12.08.04. Grčkoj olimpijsko zlato za sramotu

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Prijatelji životinja prosvjeduju ispred Grčke ambasade: Grčkoj olimpijsko zlato za sramotu!

Povodom pokolja pasa i mačaka lutalica u Ateni zbog održavanja Olimpijskih igara, Prijatelji životinja održat će mirni prosvjed ispred Grčke ambasade u Zagrebu u Opatičkoj 12.

Prosvjedom, koji će se održati u četvrtak, 12. kolovoza 2004. točno u podne, Prijatelji životinja pridružuju se prosvjedu koji se ovog tjedna održava i ispred grčkih ambasada u New Yorku, Barceloni te ostalim španjolskim gradovima, kako bi dali svoju potporu organizaciji Welfare for Animal in Greece (WAG) te izrazili svoje nezadovoljstvo beskrupuloznim, nehumanim i okrutnim potezima grčkih vlasti.

Grčka je posegnula za trovanjem kao jeftinoj operaciji čišćenja velikog broja pasa i mačaka lutalica, koje se smatralo štetočinama i uličnim štakorima. Životinje se trovalo strihininom i otrovom za štakore, pesticidima i herbicidima koji su se koristili na farmama ili ih se ubijalo komadićima zdrobljenog stakla koji su ostavljani u sirovom mesu. Druge su pak životinje bile obješene za vrat, upucane ili pregažene automobilom i ostavljene da umru na cesti.

Podsjećamo, više od dvadesetak udruga i na tisuće pojedinaca od Australije do Amerike već više od godinu dana lobiraju za spas životinja Atene, a svoje jasne osude grčke 'politike ušminkavanja Olimpijskih igara' nedavno su izrazile i najveće svjetske udruge poput International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), In Defense of Animals (IDA), World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPCA) te Humane Society International i Humane Society of the United States.

Svjetskom prosvjedu priključili su se i neki od sportaša pa tako kanadski osvajač olimpijske zlatne medalje u hrvanju, Daniel Igali, izjavljuje: 'Sportske organizacije mogu i trebaju utjecati da se otklone bolesti u našem društvu.'

Pod pritiskom svjetske zajednice, grčka vlada poduzima očajničke korake kako bi bijednim izgovorima opravdala barbarske postupke koji su se u Grčkoj dogodili u proteklih godinu dana. Hrvatska i svijet ne smiju propustiti ovu jedinstvenu priliku da se izbori trajno rješenje kojim će se zaustaviti terorizam nad životinjama Grčke te da se problem prekobrojnih neželjenih pasa i mačaka lutalica riješi humanim metodama koje se koriste u civiliziranom svijetu.

Nakon prosvjedne note, koju su Prijatelji životinja u ponedjeljak 9. kolovoza uputili grčkim ambasadama u 39 zemalja svijeta te vlastima u Grčkoj, predstavnici Udruge u četvrtak će i grčkom ambasadoru u Hrvatskoj uručiti prosvjednu notu.

Prosvjedna nota

EMBASSY OF GREECE IN ZAGREB
H. E. Mr. Dimitris Vidouris, Ambassador
Opatička 12
10000 Zagreb

August 12, 2004

Your Excellency,

Animal Friends Croatia's leadership and its 1,300 members are shocked and horrified by the reports, pictures and the video footage of about eighty percent of the abandoned dogs and cats of Athens and the Greater Attika that have been 'disposed of' in a cruel and systematic manner.

Roughly 80% of the 30,000 to 50,000 abandoned dogs in Athens are already dead - victims of deliberate poisoning, abuse and neglect - as government officials, subcontracted welfare agencies, and the 2004 Athens Organizing Committee neaten the streets for a sleek world reception. Carcasses tossed into trashcans belie the government's denial. Images of animals rotting alive in shelters linger, despite the unveiling of a 'showcase shelter' to greet the press.

While elected officials overlook anti-cruelty laws and assume no responsibility for the country's vanishing dogs, Greek and international media outlets continue to expose heartbreaking portraits. Witnesses describe the routine roundup of dead and dying animals in garbage trucks. Starving dogs and cats, often baited with strychnine-laced meat known as fola ('poison balls'), foam at the mouth, convulse and suffer unbearably before they die.

On August 4, 22 poisoned dogs were found close to the Port of Piraeus, the gateway to Athens. Eighty more dead dogs were allegedly discovered in Saronida, also near Athens. We understand Athens maintains just one municipal shelter, along with several privately owned, rundown facilities. Although the Deputy Mayor of Athens, Tonia Kanellopoulou, announced plans to gather, sterilize and re-home the city's strays, just one municipality appears to have implemented the new law.

Greece's unprecedented inhumanity towards dogs, cats and livestock has become a national shame and there is absolutely no excuse to justify the reality of thousands of animals' tortured destruction for cosmetic reasons.

As the world now focuses its lens on Athens, Greece's desperate attempts to conceal this slaughter which happened because of the Olympic Games must not stand unchallenged. For, Greece knew years ago that Olympics 2004 will eventually happen and Greece/Athens knew that it had a strays issue in the streets of Athens. Therefore, Greece and Athens had lots of time to solve the problem of strays in a more humane and dignified way than they did.

In this regard, we kindly urge you to intercede with the Greek government for the welfare of animals in your country. We will continue to encourage everyone we know to join us in a boycott of Greek travel and commerce - until visible strides are made to enforce existing animal welfare laws and institute humane reforms.

We demand an immediate halt to abuse, neglect and the mass poisoning of Greek dogs throughout the Olympic venues and beyond, and we hope the negative publicity serves as a wake-up call for Greece to raise its standard of animal welfare with modern shelters that maintain veterinary supervision, mandatory spay/neuter/vaccination, microchip identification, and responsible policies for re-homing animals.

Respectfully yours,

Luka Oman
President
Animal Friends Croatia

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