• PACMA animal-rights party presents petition signed by 30,000 in Holland
• Each year, some 50,000 Greyhounds abandoned in Spain by ‘galguero’ hunters
Spain’s PACMA animal rights party has presented the Spanish government with a petition signed by 30,000 people in the Netherlands calling for an end to the use of Greyhounds in hunting in Spain, the only remaining country in Europe that has not banned the practice, which each years results in the abandonment at the end of the hunting season of as many as 50,000 of the animals by Spanish hunters.
During the annual hunting season that reaches its peak in February, Spanish galguero hunters use greyhound dogs because of their speed to chase down and kill rabbits and other prey. When the dogs are exhausted at the end of the season, they are either abandoned or in many cases destroyed by the hunters, often with ritualistic mutilation and brutal killing practices that some hunters believes will bring them good luck in the next year’s season.
According to PACMA spokesperson Laura Duarte, who delivered the petition from sister-party PvdD in Holland to the Spanish government’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Environment (MAPAMA), the huge wear and tear on Greyhounds used to chase down the prey causes the hunters to turn them out after each season and thousands of the abandoned animals are rescued each year and adopted by people living throughout Europe.
The galguero lobby is very strong in Spain and pressures the government and Spain’s political parties not to outlaw the practice, claiming it is part of Spain’s “heritage”, Duarte said, calling on Spanish political authorities to follow the lead of the Netherlands, which has achieved zero abandonment of dogs nationwide through a combination of campaigns to raise awareness among the public and imposition of strong fines for abandonment of animals.
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