sexta-feira, 1 de julho de 2011

Como são tratados os animais em Portugal, aos olhos do resto da Europa.

The situation in Portugal

"Come in and find out for yourself why the Algarve has plenty to offer for everybody." That’s what the common travel guides say. "The warm climate the whole year round, a coastline with fantastic beaches make this region an ideal vacation spot for the whole family." But what does it look like behind this perfect idyll ? 

Everything that could disturb the tourism is simply eliminated !

The situation at the Algarve is especially fatal in areas that are stamped by tourism. You’ll find cities with no dogs at all because they’re trapped and killed at once. The Portuguese are not doing this because the tourists shouldn’t be bothered but because they do not want to run into trouble with them, should the dogs misery become obvious and public.

The Portuguese reality is one where animals are killed helter-skelter.

One example: in Portugal, local elections carry weight as legislative elections, and the mayor of a "commune" holds a status of mayor, county commissioner and chief executive of a county combined in one person. Now, such a "Presidente da Camera" is, so to speak, a little king and his party is the ruling party. Thus, all offices are held by this party, as is the office of the veterinary. Prior to the last election, there was a campaign: "Let’s get our city tidy", wherefore the official veterinary had the GNR (National Guard) to round up all dogs of the dock area and surrounding uptown and have them trapped in large nets. It was a witch hunt and after all dogs were caught, they were swatted with cudgels. The specialty about it: this all took place in front of the cameras of the local TV stations.

Old dogs are simply abandoned, puppies are disposed of in the dustbin.

The veterinary is responsible for the particular animal shelter. Neutering is scorned. One accepts that there are regularly puppies, and these are then disposed of in the dustbin as regularly. Even that is not forbidden in Portugal.

Old dogs are thrown on the street hoping that they are run over by a car. To kill on one´s own, they lack of courage and putting to sleep costs.

Hunting dogs are used and cruelly disposed of

The dogs of Portuguese hunters live under extremely wretched circumstances. If they do not "function" well, they are shot at best, but is more likely that they are tormented or tethered up in the blazing sun without water.

Moreover, everything that is a moving target is brought down helter-skelter. There is as good as no wild in Portugal these days, only boar.

Arbitrariness and nepotism rule the community, and there exists enormous cruelty.

Male puppies of the street dogs are mostly taken and are made to live a life of a living alarm system or a hunting dog.

The animal protection law in Portugal

This law is but rudimentary and in no respect accomplishes standards of civilized countries. Even to EU guidelines, action put to the word is but sluggish or not existent. Federal state laws are non-existent. The Presidente da Camera always decides which animal protection law is made use of and in what way. He alone decides if action is taken or not and solely he decides if a dog is withdrawn from an animal teaser. 

The animal protection law does exist, but makes no provision for penalties.

In the domain of farm animals, there are no provisions of the law. It is merely described that no unnecessary harm should be inflicted upon an animal. For further fighting arts with animals, all you need is a license from the administration. The keeping of wild animals is not mentioned in the animal protection law, just as little the duties of owner concerning animal health and their keeping.

Furthermore, the keeping of animals in kennels or in chains undergo no provisions, therefore no minimum size of kennels. Animal transports are not regulated und are carried out as per the effective EU guidelines.

Animal shelters in Portugal 

In Portugal, animal shelters are more of a killing station. To give you an idea, please see these two examples:

A society for the prevention of cruelty to animals which is directed by very dedicated Dutchmen is not liked by the local official veterinary, who has granted the society the maximum of 40 dogs to be kept. He drops by without announcement and kills all dogs on the spot surpassing 40 with the help of the GNR. The operator can do nothing more that to decide which dogs are to be killed.

At an animal shelter, the shelter manager was appointed by the mayor. This job is highly remunerated. The manager himself is a sadist and animal teaser, and nobody dares to stand up against him as he has the best and most widespread connections. Animals are most rarely put to sleep, but the manager does it in his own style by simply letting the animals starve to death. Once, a puppy was passed to the shelter. On demand, it was succinctly told the puppy had already croaked and would lie somewhere in the shed – which was exactly the case.

Countdown for putting down animals

Many municipalities proceed to engage private companies to trap and accommodate dogs – which is quite a remunerative business. These companies often act as a society using the badge "animal protection". They run websites claiming to place the dogs, using pressure mechanisms by having the time left shown until the putting down. One makes money twice that way, that is to say on the one hand cashing the head-money from the administration and on the other hand the commission fee. As to adequate accommodation, medical supply, tests or even extensive vaccinations – that simply doesn’t take place. Only the anti-rabies inoculation is mandatory which is, above all, bestowed by the official veterinary. The society has no costs whatsoever. In contrast to Spain, head-money is paid in Portugal for living dogs as well which allows for a system of double money making.

If the animals die a wretched death in the end because they are sick and the new owners have no knowledge about that – who cares ?

Picture sequence "Breeders" in Portugal

Here’s where a bitch and her puppies "lived" and died.

A commentary by Peter J. Lang

"My name is Peter J. Lang and I live in Portugal for more than 15 years. Because you cannot blink the fact of the dogs misery in this country, I run my privately funded animal protection project "Life" where I try above all to alleviate the misery of the fringe groups. Besides grown-up street dogs, mostly old dogs, casualties as well as puppies get out of line and are not paid attention to in any way. Usually, puppies are put to sleep immediately, heavily pregnant bitches are sterilized by force even if birth is imminent, and private individuals dispose of their puppies by throwing them in the dustbin.

The request for animal protection as well as the respect for life and the necessity to protect life and to not harm creatures has not caught peoples attention by a long shot. Bullfights are broadcasted on television programs regulated by public law.

Because this subject has no attention with the public, the administration is also not sensitive to it. There is no political pressure whatsoever to change or to ameliorate something. As long as there is no extensive movement within the public claiming change, the administration is not going to do anything about the situation. Laws on their own are good for nothing unless there is a certain social consensus. The most important thing is to conscientize the people and to make them understand the meaning of respect for all life. Alas, the people here in the tourism areas are completely tuned in to their personal economic benefit and wealth. Ethical values are hard to convey. This is not only true for the domain of animal protection and nature, but also for hatred against foreigners, radical nationalism, racial hatred, arbitrariness by the police, and many more. Portugal is a country in societal resp. sociocultural upheaval that, after about 25 years membership in the EU, has merely begun."

Give prominence to the misery of animals
Winnie, Tomé and David are an example for the life situation and tribulation of countless dogs in Portugal. Sadly, it is not exemplarily that they have been saved.

Winnie, the dog of the rabbit hutch

Little Winnie has been spotted rather by chance by a german couple at a Portuguese animal protection society. There, he spent the first weeks of his life in a much too small and narrow rabbit hutch. It is very remarkable that this organization received a price in 2010 for the best animal protection society in Portugal !

The couple ransomed the seriously ill puppy and took it to Quinta Eanna, the society "S.O.S. Eine Zukunft für Tiere" of Mr. Peter J. Lang. There it was stated that Winnie suffered from pelvic obliquity and scoliosis as a result of his accommodation in the narrow hutch. Furthermore, a bilateral HD as well as a weak kidney performance, anaemia, Rickettsia (a form of the tick fever), liver problems and bone damages due to a lack of nutrition were diagnosed.

Winnie still has a long way to go. Every day, he needs physiotherapy to build muscles, special food, medication and lots of devotion to overcome the corporal and psychic trauma.

Tomé who was to be strangled

When Tomé tries to bark, out of his throat comes nothing more but croaking. The telling alone of Tom´s martyrdom is very hard to bear. His owner was tired of him and attempted to strangle Tomé. Despite of a pushed in voice box, Tomé would refuse to die. So his owner took him to the animal shelter to have him put down there. By chance, Mr. Langs daughter was on the spot and reacted as fast as lightning. She took Tomé to the animal hospital , and the vet there saved his life by performing a tracheotomy. 

By now, Tomé lives after a quite long hospitalization at the Quinta Eanna and is save there. The scar on his throat is healed and the threads have been pulled out. Still, there are air bubbles under his skin in the connective tissue which are spread all over his body due to the tracheotomy.

But sadly, Tomés future is uncertain. He suffers from a severe tick disease and one can only hope that "Tom-Tom", as he is tenderly called at Quinta Eanna, is again going to win his battle against death.

David, the grotto dog

David was born along with nine siblings in a grotto on a cliff at Lagoa beach. His parents are supposedly the sole survivors of a so-called "cleanup" .

The puppies had to suffer cold, storm, monsoonlike rainfall and temperatures below 10 degreesCelsius in this grotto, and had no one but their mother and themselves to warm them. Also, the puppies were threatened to fall off the cliff. Four male puppies were carried off by Portuguese either to be used as a cheap alarm system for their houses or as hunting dogs. The female puppies were to be drowned in the sea. 

A German living nearby spotted the animal family and called Peter J. Lang who got the remaining puppies out of the grotto and brought them into the save space of Quinta Eanna. Davids parents live still on Lagona beach and are surveyed by "S.O.S. Eine Zukunft für Tiere", the animal protection society. 

David is the only male puppy of the litter who survived, most probably due to his extreme shyness and quickness. 

Today, David is living in a family, together with three dogs. His shyness against humans might not die away, but he leaps for joy and love of life.

Sem comentários: