Onze excuses dat dit interview slechts in het engels kan worden weergegeven.

Recently the spanish PACMA organisation had an interview with us in which they could explain who they are, why they fight for the Spanish Galgo’s, Greyhounds and Podencos and of course why they fight against animal abuse in general.

 

1. Please can you explain to us who is PACMA and where does PACMA stand for.

PACMA is a political party founded with the main objective of defending abused animals in Spain. Its acronym means Animal Party against animal abuse. In the last general election in 2016 we obtained 284.000 votes, but we did not reach representation. We have good hope we will reach representation in the next election. We did reach representation in 2018 in the province of Cordoba.

2. Why are Galgo’s/Greyhounds/Podencos seen as things and not as a breathing living creature.

In Spain the Galgo’s, Greyhounds and ofcourse also Podencos are considered hunting dogs. Traditionally the galgueros have used them to hunt, the galgueros don’t see them as living beings who need love and good care. The dogs that are not worth to hunt or race anymore from their point of view are abandoned by them often already at the age of 2-3 years or killed in sometimes gruesome ways. There are more than 50,000 Galgo’s, Greyhounds and Podencos that are abandoned and killed every year in Spain. From PACMA we ask for the prohibition of hunting with them.

3. Why does the tradition of hunting with Galgo’s, Greyhounds, Podencos and also bullfighting still excist and what tries PACMA to do about it.

Its called tradition, many people still seem to enjoy to go hunting or watch a bullfight. But i have to admit its also for financial reasons. There are many people to whom this simply means moneymaking and i am sure they will do all they can to keep their “business” going. In Spain there is a horrible tradition of using bulls in traditional festivals, and also the tradition to using Galgo’s, Greyhounds and Podenco’s to hunt. Unfortunately many people can’t or don’t want  to see and become aware that this practice is simply abuse of a living creature only for their own fun or money. PACMA presents a General Law of Animal Welfare in the Congress of Deputies where we include the prohibition of bullfighting and hunting with dogs. We need other political parties to give us their support for this law.

4. How can Greyhounds Rescue Holland help PACMA. We are willing to fight together

Greyhounds Rescue Holland can help PACMA by speaking with the Dutch government to put political pressure on the Spanish government to ban hunting with Galgo’s, Greyhounds and Podencos. Collect signatures to present to the Spanish government and by making the problem known to Dutch and Belgian citizens. Of course its even better to bring this to a European level.

5. Do you see chances that our organisisation and PACMA can protest together in Spain against the abuse and killing of Galgos, Greyhounds and Podencos in Spain.

If we can protest together it is very important that European organizations join the demonstrations in Spain against hunting with dogs. As you know demonstrations already happen each year on February 1st in a lot of cities in Spain and fortunately we see the amount of people and cities that join us in this grow every year.

6. Is it posible to stop the galgueros.

To reach that goal its first of all important that the political parties represented in the Congress of Deputies approve the State Law on Animal Protection as presented by PACMA in the Congress of Deputies. The prohibition of hunting with these dogs is required under this Law. The second necessity is modify the criminal code with harsher penalties for animal abusers. The third and perhaps even most important thing is to increase the control of authorities
and judges to the galgueros. Unfortunately at this moment most complaints of murder or abuse of any of these dogs gets no follow up by the local authorities. The reason: they see it as tradition. From the point of view of PACMA this is because many of those are galguero themselves or have a familymember who is a galguero.

7. Do you give education to children to change the way of thinking. To change traditional information on the hunting history and to teach the children that these dogs deserve to be treated with respect.

The education of children in respecting animals is fundamental. In schools they have to work in education and awareness about the good treatment of animals and the environment. The change proceeds slow, too slow if you ask me but fortunately it has started.

8. We want to thank you for the very important and very much needed work you do. What is the message to us in Holland and Europe and how can we help to stop the horror.

I am especially grateful to many European citizens who are very concerned about the cruelty to which many dogs are condemned under the guise of tradition in Spain. European citizens have to put pressure on the governments of their countries to demand from the Spanish government respect and dignity for the animals.

Javier Luna

PACMA representative in the province of Córdoba