Written Declaration 0006/2013 on putting an immediate stop to the torture and mistreatment of greyhounds closed on Monday 15th July.
The goal of over 300 signatures needed, to further the Declaration into the European Commission, was not reached. But the plight of Spanish Galgos and Irish/UK greyhounds has been furthered on a huge scale within European political offices, via a three month appeal from many, unified, and hard working Rescues and Welfare groups. The 217 MEP’s who did sign also took a keen or further interest in the plight of Greyhounds throughout Europe, and this achievement in itself has to be a great forward step for Greyhound Welfare concerns throughout Europe, and a platform that can be used in the future.
Greyhound Safe is proud to have been a member of, and work with, the European Collective for the Protection of Greyhounds, giving a voice for Irish and UK Greyhounds.
Greyhound Safe would also like to thank the many rescues in the UK including supporters of Greyhound Rescue West of England for all their support along with supporters and the members of Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland, and Greyhound Safe Ireland, for all their support in Ireland.
We also extend thanks to MEP Mrs Striffler, Greyhound Rescue Holland, and Galgos Ethique Europe – for their tireless work in furthering the voice for the Greyhound throughout Europe through the Written Declaration.
From BBC Northern Ireland:
There has been shock and revulsion after a greyhound had his ears hacked off before he was dumped on the side of the road in Newtownabbey on Monday evening.
George Anderson from the Mid Antrim Animal sanctuary says the greyhound had its ears cut off to remove identification tattoos which would have pinpointed the owner.
You may find some of the pictures in Martin Cassidy’s report upsetting.
From Newtownabbey Times:
Newtownabbey police have issued an appeal for information following a sickening incident of animal cruelty during which a dog had its ears cut off.
Shortly before 8pm on Monday, June 24 police were called to the scene of a dog in distress on the Ballycraigy Road.
On arrival they discovered an ex-racing greyhound that had been abandoned. Its ears had been cut off to remove the birth and registration tattoos that allow greyhounds to be traced.
Police took the dog to Farmhill Vets in Carrick where it was treated for its injuries.
The dog is currently being looked after by staff at the Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary.
George Anderson, chair of the sanctuary, described the dog’s injuries as “absolutely horrendous.”
“I wouldn’t even call the people who did this animals – an animal wouldn’t be so cruel. They are the scum of the earth as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
Mr Anderson said that when the dog’s injuries have healed the sanctuary will try to find him a new home.
Police officers investigating the incident have appealed for anyone with information to contact them on 0845 600 8000.
We have a real chance for “Action for a Real Change for Greyhounds”
On the 15th April Mrs Striffler, Member of European Parliament, along with 11 other signatories, submitted a Written Declaration 0006/2013 for putting an immediate stop to the torture and mistreatment of Greyhounds in Europe. Just 200 hundred words that can have a great impact on the lives of many greyhounds – this Written Declaration will lapse on 15th July 2013.
The Written Declaration clearly and simply highlights cruelties that Greyhounds endure, whether used for racing or for hunting, throughout Europe. Such cruelty that exists and is witnessed daily by rescues, advocates, and even the public.
The Declaration essentially calls on the Commission to use its power to ensure Welfare Acts are implemented AND enforced correctly and fully, and to recommend concrete actions to bring about an immediate stop on the acts of cruelty inflicted on Greyhounds – the suffering of Greyhounds cannot continue to be ignored.
If a majority of MEP’s support and sign the Written Declaration 0006/2013 there is a real chance of real change.
Greyhound Safe is calling for all GRAI followers/members to join the action needed – please follow this link for full information on how you can play a role in taking action for real: http://www.greyhoundsafe.com/in-the-news/actionforarealchangeforgreyhounds
Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland (GRAI) anticipates justice for executed greyhounds at two upcoming court cases this week.
In April 2012, a walker exploring the woods near an abandoned quarry outside Limerick city came upon a gruesome discovery: an open and shallow grave of several dead greyhounds, at least some of which were found to be shot in the head. It is assumed that these were failed racing greyhounds, disposed of when they were no longer fast enough to race.
The walker notified Limerick Animal Welfare (a member of GRAI), who informed the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) and Garda of the discovery. Luckily, all registered racing greyhounds in Ireland have identifying tattoos in their ears which indicate their age and, more importantly, linked them to their registered owners. Due to the bodies being in various stages of decomposition, there were still some legible tattoos on a number of the dogs which identified their owners, and indicated that they were only 2 and 3 years old. GRAI believes thousands of racing greyhounds in Ireland face a similar fate when they are no longer useful for racing.
After a lengthy investigation by the Director of Public Prosecutions, this case will be heard in Newcastle West, County Limerick on 25 April and Dublin on 26 April. It will be the first time a case has been brought before the court in an effort to apply the new greyhound welfare legislation introduced in Ireland in 2011 and therefore a landmark one. If found guilty through the Greyhound Welfare Act or other legislation, the persons responsible will be made to face the consequences of their actions.
As an organisation dedicated to promoting greyhounds as pets and representing many Irish greyhound rehoming groups, GRAI is appalled by this blatant disregard for life. Greyhounds are an especially affectionate, loyal and intelligent breed of dog, adopted as pets when their racing days are over by thousands of people annually worldwide.
GRAI is determined there will be justice for the “Quarry Greyhounds” and that it will serve as a warning to anyone with similar intentions in the future.
Last year in April 2012, a walker was exploring the woods near an abandoned quarry located approximately 40 kilometres outside of Limerick city when, alerted by her own dogs, she came upon a horrifying discovery – an open and shallow mass grave of dead greyhounds most of which appeared to be shot in the head It is assumed that these were failed racing greyhounds (identified by having tattoos in their ears) and that they were disposed of when they were no longer fast enough to race. Some were estimated to be between just 2-3 years of age.
Marion Fitzgibbon, a spokesperson for GRAI and founder of Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW) recounts that her organization was immediately notified of this grim discovery and they swiftly contacted the local Guards. However, the police were slow to act and only became involved when the press and various media outlets began to take interest in the story. Limerick Animal Welfare notified the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) of this discovery, who then sent a Stipendiary Steward to visit the site. Luckily, all registered racing greyhounds in Ireland have identifying tattoos in their ears which link them to their owners. Due to the fact that bodies found at the site were in various stages of decomposition, there were still some legible tattoos on a number of the dogs, which Limerick Animal Welfare were able to record when they first went to the site. In total, these tattoos were linked back to three different individuals. If proven guilty of disposing of the greyhounds in this way, then it is possible these individuals could be prosecuted under the new greyhound welfare legislation as well as other existing laws.
However, movement towards justice for the quarry greyhounds has been slow, despite the fact that new greyhound welfare legislation was introduced in Ireland in 2011 to protect racing greyhounds. Yes, the owners of the dogs found in the quarry are facing legal action, but because the wheels of justice in Ireland always turn rather slowly, it has taken nearly a year for the trial to come to court.
We have recently been in contact with reliable sources and have been informed that this case will be heard in County Limerick and Dublin on April 25th and 26th. This is the first case where the Greyhound Welfare Act is likely to be applied and the persons responsible made to face the consequences of their actions, only then will justice for the Limerick quarry greyhounds (and all greyhounds that have faced the same fate) no longer remain to be seen.
THREE greyhounds and two lurchers rescued by Limerick Animal Welfare, a member of GRAI have got the red carpet treatment in Italy. Some of them were malnourished and had urine scalds on their feet from their poor kennelling conditions, now they have been rehomed with affluent Italian owners.
The five dogs were given a ceremony, attended by a former Minister, on their arrival in Brianza, near Milan. The story made several Italian national newspapers and TV stations.
Marion Fitzgibbon, of Limerick Animal Welfare, said they were contacted by Italian welfare group SOS Levrieri through UK Greyhound Compassion.
“They heard about the work we do. Three of them flew in and we brought them to the sanctuary. They picked out Danny, Gypsy, Limo, Teddy and Rocky. “You don’t normally send dogs out in July and August because it gets really hot but they went out through a UK pet chauffeur transport firm. They had a lovely air conditioned mini-bus and the driver slept overnight with them. SOS paid for it all. They’ve gone to the most beautiful families,” said Marion.
Gypsy and Danny had been in Kilfinane for over a year while Rocky was taken in after he was listed as “free to a good home”. He certainly got a good home as his plush surrounds above show.
Teddy and Limo were rescued, Marion said. “The had multiple bites, were very malnourished and their feet had urine scalds. Obviously they were standing in urine and living in very bad conditions.” Marion, added that they have been “astounded” by the coverage in Italy. “They don’t have greyhound racing there as far as I know. Greyhounds are very popular in Italy, they don’t have any image of them going around with muzzles. They just look at them as beautiful dogs” said Marion. They have had enquiries from around 100 Italians and they hope to send out more greyhounds.
While they are delighted to see greyhounds have new lives in Italy, they would rather rehome them in Ireland. “They make wonderful pets. We don’t want to be sending these dogs abroad, they are Irish dogs and we want to keep these dogs at home. Why aren’t we rehoming them here?” asks Marion, who says their sanctuary is choc-a-bloc with cats and dogs at the moment.
GRAI understands that the Gardaí have completed their investigations into the case of the six greyhounds killed and dumped in a quarry near Limerick. We understand a file has been prepared and will shortly be passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The next steps are in the hands of the DPP. GRAI will continue to monitor developments with this landmark case for greyhound welfare in Ireland.
The full story is available here.
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.
Julie-Anne Carlton is organising a ‘Candle Light Vigil‘ for the greyhounds who were found literally slaughtered just recently in the mass grave here in Co. Limerick.
The details are as follows…
When: Friday, May 18, 2012
Where: Outside Cork City Library
Time: 7:00pm – 8:45pm
Everyone is welcome to come along and I am looking forward to it.
Please read about the recent tragic story.
Any enquiries for this vigil please contact John at ARAN at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for your support
GRAI has been informed that three greyhounds have been identified and that Bord na gCon (Irish Greyhound Board) along with the Gardaí are in the process of interviewing the owners. GRAI is glad to hear that the Bord na gCon is taking this very seriously and we hope they will use the full force of the law now available to them in terms of the recently introduced Greyhound Welfare Act.
GRAI has also asked for the Bord na gCon to put greater investment into the promotion of greyhounds as pets, as well as promoting responsible ownership amongst breeders, trainers and owners, so that greyhounds are not disposed of when they either do not make the grade or retire from racing. Although sadly the over breeding of greyhounds inevitable results in the disposal of many of these dogs. We will await the outcome of the Bord na gCon’s investigation and keep everyone updated. The story has also recently been covered on RTÉ News.