On February 4 in 48 cities across Spain and various European locations, passionate individuals took to the streets to protest against the overlooked victims of hunting—Galgo, Podencos and other working breeds. Despite the recent enactment of new animal welfare legislation in Spain.
These laws primarily focus on personal pets, leaving Galgos, Podencos, and similar breeds classified as "animals de renta" or animals of use to people, devoid of the protection afforded to companion animals.
The Sporting Heritage of Galgos:
Coinciding with this outcry for animal welfare is the culmination of the LXXXVI Campeonato De Espana de Galgos en Campo, a prestigious competition that has been a cornerstone of Spanish culture for 86 years.
The championship, hosted in the Valladolid town of Nava del Rey, determines the best greyhound in Spain and, by extension, the world, in the open field. The victor will be awarded the coveted Copa S.M - El Rey, highlighting the significance of the sport.
Historical Roots of Galgo Racing:
To appreciate the gravity of the competition, one must delve into its historical roots. The sport of Galgo racing gave rise to numerous associations de Agricultores y Ganaderos in 1910, scattered across various regions in Spain.
The first official governing body for Galgo racing was the "Club Deportivo Español," which operated from 1929 to 1932. In 1939, the Spanish Galgo Federation was established, overseeing and organizing Galgo racing in its diverse modalities.
The Dark Side of Galgo Racing:
Despite the grandeur of the championship and the history surrounding Galgo racing, a pressing issue remains largely overshadowed— the fate of Galgos that don't make the grade.
The breeding of these dogs is driven by the pursuit of elusive champions, with successful competitors being treated well and holding significant monetary value. However, the majority of these animals face a bleak future once their competition days are over. All in the pursuit of owning a champion and lifting a trophy in celebration comes at the expense of thousands of Galgos suffering.
As the competition season concludes, numerous Galgos find themselves abandoned, injured, or sick. Overflowing Perreras (dog pounds), injured and dead Galgos on the streets, and the tireless efforts of rescues paint a grim picture.
"No a la Caza" serves as a poignant call to action, urging society to acknowledge and address the often-neglected consequences of the sport of Galgos. Beyond the glitz and glamour of the championship lies a harsh reality for the majority of these noble dogs, along with the Podencos and other working breeds.