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News ::
A New Olympic Event - Torture
27 Jul 2002
As the 2004 Olympics approaches, animal torture in Greece is reaching ever higher levels






In 2004 the Summer Olympics will return to their origin in Greece where
the Olympic tradition began over 2000 years ago







In 2004 the Summer Olympics will return to their origin in
Greece where the Olympic tradition began over 2000 years ago.  But another
Olympics is going on in Greece right now.  Every day in cities, town and
villages all over Greece stray dogs and cats compete in a contest to see if they
can survive another day.  (If you have ever holidayed in Greece you have, no
doubt, seen the stray dogs and cats begging for food.) Unlike the Olympics that
we see on television, this contest is stacked against the strays. Stray animals
are tricked everyday into eating bait laced with strychnine, rat poison,
herbicides, and pesticides or crushed glass. Then in the early morning garbage
trucks come around and pick up the dead or dying animals.
 
How did the nation that brought us Socrates and Plato,
democracy and the Olympics sink to this barbaric level of animal treatment?  How
does a nation that subscribes to the European Union (EU) code of human and
animal rights get away with this brutish treatment of animals?  It's all a
matter of money and politics.  While Western Europeans realized some time ago
that spaying and neutering (sterilizing) animals was the most humane method of
preventing animal suffering, most Greeks still subscribe to the theory that it
is better to let the animals “have their fun”.  Sure the Greek Government passed
the laws required of them as members of the EU. But in a snub to the EU, the
government took no action to enforce the laws. There has not been and is not
today even the pretense that the laws would be enforced.
 
Of course this means that every day over a thousand
unwanted dogs and cats are born on the streets and in the homes of Greece. It is
at this point that the practice of allowing household pets and strays to remain
unaltered becomes cruel.  Greeks are all for allowing the animals to “have their
fun” but when it comes to dealing with the results of that “fun” most Greeks
wash their hands of the matter. Consequently many of these unwanted pets are
simply thrown out of the household in which they were born to fend for
themselves.  Some Greeks resort to more vicious means to rid themselves of
unwanted pets such as hanging dogs from trees. Of course, the stray animals
released from their homes un-spayed and un-neutered begin the process all over
again.
 
To fix this problem the Greeks have decided (unlike Western
Europe) not to attack the problem at its source (which would involve spaying and
neutering) but at its result (the cruelest way of handling the problem).  In
preparation for the tourists who flock to Greece each year and for the Olympic
fans who will descend on Greece in a couple years Greeks have devised a number
of hideously cruel methods of killing and controlling stray dogs and cats.
Poisoning, torturing, starvation are all used (see articles on these practices
at the end of this column). In an attempt to put a façade on the hideous
practices of the Greek population, the Greek Minister of Agriculture has decided
to finance the construction of shelters.  However these shelters will be nothing
more than “Death Camps”. In its cruel way the Government has allocated money to
fund the construction of the shelter/camps, but not for the animals’ food or
medical expenses. These so-called shelters will keep the animal confined for a
maximum of 20 days. After that they will be killed. 
 
If you are an animal lover the Olympics gives us an
opportunity to do something about this problem that we won’t have again for a
long time.  The eyes of the world will be on Greece as the country prepares for
the Olympic Games.  Greece will be trying to shield from those eyes how it
treats its stray animals.  But if we work together we can force the Greek
government to change its ways and put in place, before the Olympics, the
structure and educational programs necessary to give the stray animals in Greece
a chance at decent life.
 
Here are some things you can do to help the effort of
saving theses beautiful creatures.
 
1)     
Boycott both Greece and the 2004 Olympics as a travel destination and
inform Greek officials of your plans. Tourism is Greece’s number one industry
and officials pay attention to complaints. Write about your concerns to the
following: The Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis at

mail (at) primeminister.gr .
The Greek
Minister of Tourism, Mr.Dimitrios at

president (at) gnto.gr

2)     
Sign the petition and ask your friends to sign the
petition


http://www.petitiononline.com/OG2004/petition.html ;

3)     
Write to the International
Olympic Committee at
The
International Olympic Committee
Chateau de
Vidy
1007 Lausann
Switzerland
Telephone
(00) 4121 621 6111
Fax (00) 4121 621 6216
 
For further knowledge on the subject of animal abuse in
Greece, please read the following articles. When Greek officials say their
abysmal treatment of animals is just a rumor, ask them about these articles:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1251619.stm 


http://www.cyprus-mail.com/2000/October/19/news101901.htm


http://www.hackwriters.com/greektragedy.htm


http://www.arkonline.com/crete.htm
 
 
Some organizations involved with the plight of Greek stray
animals can be found on these sites:


http://worldanimalnet.org ; - Look under Greece

http://www.paw-europe.com/grgroups.htm



See also:
http://www.petitiononline.com/OG2004/petition.html
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