Thank you to Catherine Palmer who has translated the APDDA report on the meeting in Madrid on 12th March 2014 to discuss banning hunting with galgos. (for greyhounds, read galgos)
Denouncing the situation of greyhounds in Spain.
By Chesús Yuste, coordinator of APDDA
Yesterday, the Clara Campoamor hall of the Congress of Deputies hosted a parliamentary forum organized by the Parliamentary Association in Defense of Animals (APDDA), of which I am the Coordinator, under the slogan "Greyhounds: Spain in front of the world". A hundred participants, including representatives of SOS Galgos, Galgos Sin Fronteras and the Franz Weber Foundation discussed a series of proposals to address the problem, demanding a ban or limiting hunting with greyhounds in Spain, which is the only State of the European Union where this is still allowed.
After welcoming everyone which fell to me as APDDA coordinator the film 'Febrero, El mierdo de los galgos', directed by Irene Blánquez and produced by Waggingtale Films, was screened. Then the veterinarian and co-founder of SOS Galgos Albert Sorde presented his paper, 'When greyhounds don't hunt'. Afterwards the lawyer Sergio García-Valle, who represented the Asociación Baas Galgo, who exerted pressure to bring the case to court, reported on the first conviction of a Hunter who hung his own greyhounds, known as the case of the galgos de Fuensalida (Toledo).
Then came the turn of the international delegations. After the screening of the video 'The Greyhounds of Spain', the representatives of the American Association SPCA International - Global Animal Rescue, Stephanie Scott and Meredith Ayan took part . Subsequently we saw the video of 'The demonstration in support of greyhounds at the European Parliament in Strasbourg', which is organised every year by the French Association 'Club for the Recognition and Care of Greyhounds' (C.R.E.L), whose President Jérôme Guillot said a few words.
Finally, I read out the proposals that had been submitted to the APDDA by representatives of SOS Greyhounds, Galgos Sin Fronteras, the Franz Weber Foundation, CREL, SPCA International Foundation as well as the lawyer Sergio Garcia-Valle and local police officer from Madrid José Antonio Ferrule. I publicly announced the commitment of the Parliamentary Association in Defense of Animals to study the proposals and turn them into parliamentary initiatives, seeking the maximum possible support to end the barbarism which is repeated every year at the end of the hunting season. At the end we opened up the floor for audience participation (who added to the above proposals by mentioning podencos, the role of forest officials, etc..).
In summary, the proposals coincide, their ultimate goal being the banning of hunting with greyhounds, as has happened in the rest of Europe (Germany in 1952, Belgium in 1995, Scotland in 2002 and UK in 2004). And meanwhile introduce temporary measures such as increased surveillance and control through a compulsory register of ownership of greyhounds, replace chips with irreversible identification methods, establish a mandatory public liability insurance for each greyhound, and impose criminal sanctions involving a prison sentence for abusers of these animals, among many other measures. We will shortly be publishing the full proposal documents.