Animal protection activists frustrated by minister's obstructive attitude

27 October 2008

Animal protection activists frustrated by minister's obstructive attitude

Animal protection activists want to know where a sum of €12m for aid to stray animals in Greece has disappeared to. SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer is taking up the cudgels on their behalf in Brussels and is also anxious to find out why the work of Greek and other animal welfare organisations, including some from the Netherlands, is being deliberately thwarted by Greek Agriculture Minister Konstantinos Kiltidis.

Erik MeijerKiltidis admitted in Athens News on 5th September that he does not know where the millions allocated for animal welfare have been spent. The Greek government received the money from the EU specifically to tackle problems of animal welfare. But animal protection groups are complaining that for years no information has been given out relating to this spending. Five hundred local authorities are supposed, for instance, to use it for sterilisation and castration of stray animals and for accommodating them.


Animal welfare organisation are now seeking to solve the problem themselves, yet instead of support they are fining nothing but opposition from the agriculture minister. In a memo which has come into the possession of the SP, these groups are portrayed by the minister as criminal organisations undeserving of support. Kiltidis has also announced the introduction of an animal passport law which is in conflict with existing EU rules limiting the free traffic of people and animals in the EU. Under the Greek proposal, residents of Greece would be allowed no more than two domestic animals.


Erik Meijer is urging the European Commission to look into the matter. "Where has the money been spent? And will this state of affairs leas to the return of any EU subsidy not spent for the intended purpose?

In general, the European Commission takes around two months to reply to a parliamentary question.

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