My galgas Carmela and Sahara (with hubbie David) arriving at the European Parliament. I'm delighted to report that the Manifestation in Strasbourg organised by CREL had tremendous support from groups across Europe - over 1,000 people marching, with their galgos and podencos - and a borzoi and afghan. Just shows the strength of feeling against the Spanish hunters and their barbaric treatment they perpetrate on their hunting dogs, primarily galgos and podencos. Many hounds there bore the scars - where they had been cut up, beaten, burned, injured in road accidents, caught in snares - all walking on behalf of their 'cousins' still in Spain and still suffering. They came in family groups too, and one lady brought all 6 of her rescued galgos.
Among the associations represented were Galgo Save Belgium, Amour des Galgos, Podanco, SOS Galgos Italy, Dutch Galgo Lobby, Galgos Ethique Europe, Baas Galgo, Bulletin des Levriers, Levriers du Sud, Galgos and Co, Le Bulletin des Levriers (BDL), Coeur des Galgos, El Arca de Noe, Amigos de los Galgos from Spain, Fepaex from Extremadura, Spain, SOS Galgos from Barcelona, Spain, L'Esperanto des Levriers and many more. Among the association presidents who travelled in from Spain were Nuria Blanco of Amigos de los Galgos, Anna Clements of SOS Galgos and Mariangeles of Fepaex and Barbara LeFranc of BDL, France. (apologies if I've missed out any other association presidents, I tried to get round to talk to everyone!)
Leading the march with Jerome Guillot, President of the organising association CREL, was Michele Striffler, a French Member of the European Parliament and Vice President of the Intergroup for the Protection and Welfare of Animals and who accepted the petition organised last week with over 14,000 signatories, which called for action to ban hunting with galgos.
We had a police escort, which kindly stopped all the traffic along the 3km route from the European Parliament building, past the Palais de l'Europe and eventually back to the start.
The story of the Manifestation was reported on French TV and also in the French press.
I took two of my hounds, Carmela and Sahara, rescued from the Cordoba perrera, and it was an excellent opportunity to meet old friends, make new friends and even chat to people who have bought a copy of my book. Below you will find a selection of my photos which give you a taste of what was THE most amazing day and one in which I am thrilled to have taken part.