The first international demonstration for Spanish greyhounds (galgos) outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg took place on Saturday, 9th June. The march was in protest against the cruelty inflicted upon galgos at the end of each hunting season. Similar demonstrations took place the following day in Madrid and Barcelona.
It is estimated that each year in Spain, approximately 60,000 Spanish greyhounds (galgos) are abandoned by hunters, making the galgo the most mistreated of dog-breeds in Spain. These gentle animals are literally “used and abused”, mostly at the beginning of February when they are abandoned in rural areas of Andalusia, Extremadura and Castille.
Spanish and international animal welfare organisations have been battling with this problem for years, with little support from either local or national authorities. However, awareness of the sorry plight of these animals is on the increase and political support is now emerging. The march, brought together various greyhound charities from around Europe, drawing attention to the problem and demanding legislation aimed at putting an end to these maltreatment practices.
The demonstration had the support of MEP Michele Striffler, also Vice-President of Intergroup and Protection and Welfare of Animals, who was present during the 5-mile march starting and finishing at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. “What is happening in Europe deserves to be known. I sincerely hope that this event will serve to shed light on the way that the greyhounds in Spain are treated, especially in areas of the south of the country.” said Striffler in a letter addressed to Jérome Guillot, president of CREL on 1st June this year.
In October 2011 several MEPs sent a letter to the then Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, reporting the extreme cruelty inflicted upon galgos and demanding an end to be put to these barbaric practices.
SOS Galgos is a charity dedicated to the rescue and protection of the Spanish galgo.