I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being. Abraham Lincoln
In most European countries, legislation on animal welfare is sufficient. Animal cruelty and the abandoning of animals is a criminal offence. Unfortunately, that is only in theory and very rarely with an indictment, in other words, with the enforcement of the law. Law enforcement is extremely important in achieving the goals of vets in action. As long as the suspension or torture of an animal is regarded as a minor offence, as is still the case in Southern and Eastern Europe, our work is continually undone.
The main reason for stray animals existence are pets which are not neutered. Almost all street animals therefore come from unwanted litters, which were simply left out. Even if pet owners know that they are not allowed to abandon litters out, it is different if the suspension really leads to a fine or – depending on the case – also to conditional prison sentences.
It is even clearer in cases of animal cruelty. Sometimes we find mistreated animals that everyone in the village knows about, but no one reveals the perpetrator or perpetrators. If someone is honest enough and feels committed to the welfare of the animal, the community punishes him for it. Fortunately, there are always courageous people who stand up for a tortured animal. That is our chance. Vets in action are tasked with several procedures each year to bring animal cruelty and the suspension of animals to trial.
And it works! In the case of an animal tormentor, a man has been sentenced to prison for the first time in recent Greek history. It is not primarily a question of punishing individuals, but rather that it becomes a talking point. Shortly afterwards, said perpetrator had a self-inflicted accident with his hay turner, in which he died in almost the same way as one of the two dogs whose eyes he had pierced and then had left half-dead in the field. Such stories are experienced by a lot of people and that has a big impact.
The third very common case concerns neglect. Not only do we take legal action in cases of neglect, we also regularly train police cadets on the subject of animal welfare and teach them that they can and should intervene when animals are obviously being neglected. For example, if they are chained somewhere without water, food or shelter, or if they have to stand permanently in their own waste.
Law enforcement is a very important tool in animal welfare. Below are just three examples of many...