Animal Rights...Fighting for the Voiceless

Thanks to international outcry and pressure from local citizens who crowded the court house during the trial, the perpetrator was sentenced to 9 months in jail without parole and a fine of 8500 Euros. This was not only the maximum sentence, but it was the strongest sentence ever handed down for animal abuse in Greece.

This is a big step for Greece towards the end of animal abuse!

Many thanks at all of you who had helped to make this possible.

In a huge victory for those innocent dogs and in a clear message for those who might consider this type of horrible cruelty in the future, the perpetrator has received a rather harsh sentence by Greek standards.

He was sentenced for a misdemeanor crime, which was all that was available for the brutal beatings.  He was sentenced to 9 months in jail without the possibility of parole or to pay a fine to get out early.  He has also been ordered to pay a total of 8500 Euros (500 Euros for every threat he made to his neighbors, for the strays themselves, 1000 Euros for each dog harmed and 2000 Euros for King (Rigas), the poor dog who died from his horrendous injuries).

This is the first time an abuser of animals has received a sentence of this kind ever in the history of Greece.  This is a huge step forward for animals in that country, and hopefully will deter others from committing such horrors in the future.

Greece bans animal circuses

greece bans circus animals

The Greek Government has banned the use of all animals in circuses following a campaign by Animal Defenders International (ADI) and the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF), backed by over 50 local animal protection groups across Greece.  The new animal protection law also addresses a number of important issues concerning stray animals.

Tim Phillips of ADI, who launched the Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Greece in 2006 said: “In circuses in Greece we saw horrific suffering.  I remember a hippo living in a small, filthy cage on the back of a lorry with a stinking pool barely bigger than a bath tub to wallow in.  This is a great day for animal protection in Greece and indeed Europe.  We applaud the Greek Government for taking a strong, unequivocal stand against animal suffering in circuses.”

Evgenia Mataragka of the GAWF, based in Athens said:  “We are delighted that Greece has said no to cruelty in the name of entertainment.  We have witnessed terrible suffering of animals in travelling circuses here and these animals often have to endure long journeys by sea from Italy.  Many municipalities have already banned animal circuses in Greece, so we believe that this will be popular with Greek people.”

greece bans circus animals  greece bans circus animals

Greece is the first country in Europe to ban all animals from circuses and similar performances.  Austria currently has a ban on wild animal acts, and several European countries including Portugal, Denmark and Croatia have measures to ban or phase out wild animals in circuses.

greece bans circus animals

Bolivia was the first country to ban all animals from circuses and in February 2011, ADI completed an enforcement operation with the Bolivian authorities closing down and rescuing every animal from circuses defying the law.  This included relocating 29 lions to the USA as well as rescuing primates and horses.

ADI and GAWF have said they are committed to assisting the Greek Government with enforcing the ban.
In July 2011, Peru banned wild animals in circuses following an undercover investigation and campaign by Animal Defenders International.  It is clear now that the days are numbered for keeping animals in travelling facilities and forcing them to do tricks in the name of entertainment.  Legislation is currently being considered by the Governments of the USA, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.

The UK will now be under considerable pressure to implement a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses which was called for by an overwhelming vote by back bench MPs last year. The British Government had cited a legal challenge to Austria’s ban on wild animal acts as a reason for not implementing a UK ban.  However, in December the Austrian Constitutional Court in Vienna announced that it had thrown out the application by Circus Krone to overturn Austria’s ban.

For information Stop Circus Suffering Greece go here:
Article 12 of the New Greek law

Ban of use of every kind of animals in any kind of entertainment and other similar businesses.

Vision Express ends use of wild animals in advertising Posted: 14 August 2012. Vision Express has agreed with ADI to introduce an ethical policy on animal use and will no longer feature any wild or exotic animals in their advertising. The decision follows discussions with ADI about concerns on the use of performing wild animals, after Vision Express featured a monkey in a TV advertising campaign. Evidence presented to Vision Express included undercover video evidence collected by ADI investigators. Donate to support ADI undercover investigations Tim Phillips, ADI Campaigns Director, who met with the Vision Express team said: “We are delighted with this responsible decision by Vision Express after listening to the concerns of ADI and our supporters. Companies can be persuaded that the use of performing wild animals is harmless fun, but when the facts of the life that these animals live are known, it is clear that it is no fun for the animals. Our investigations and video evidence reveal how the living conditions and behind-the-scenes suffering during training are the issues that companies need to consider. “ADI is urging other companies to follow the example of Vision Express and make a commitment to an ethical policy on animals, and not use wild and exotic animals in advertising. Wild animals are rarely integral to these products, so why risk alienating potential customers who are concerned about animals?” Statement from Vision Express: Animals in advertising Vision Express has reviewed its policy regarding the use of animals in advertising after Animal Defenders International (ADI) and others raised concerns over the use of a monkey in a recent television advertisement. Like many companies, Vision Express was directed and put their trust in a creative advertising agency on this matter. Clearly the wider ethical concerns were not comprehensively addressed by the agency. Whilst Vision Express took all reasonable steps to ensure that the monkey in question was not mistreated in any way during the filming of the advert, they understand it is not possible to state with certainty how such animals have been trained over their lifetime, or importantly, the long-term experiences and care of such animals in captivity. Vision Express includes customer feedback as part of their review process and have applied the insight provided by ADI in regard to this matter. As a result Vision Express has made the decision to no longer feature any wild or exotic animals in advertising.

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