On Tuesday 11th June Mrs. Striffler, MEP, organised a meeting, with the assistance of the European Collectif for the protection of Greyhounds, in the context of Written Declaration 0006/2013 on putting an immediate end to the torture and mistreatment of greyhounds in Europe. The meeting was also attended by the Spanish MEP Mr. Fisas Ayxela, who signed the Written Declaration.

In an atmosphere of commitment and cooperation, several organisations from different European countries discussed the atrocious situation that continues to exist. Many examples of the immense suffering were given, but also the reluctance of authorities to take the matter seriously as well as cultural bias were topic of discussion. Also, FEPAEX from Extremadura pointed out once more that the killing and disposal of dogs comes at an enormous cost. For Badajoz alone the bill went up to E 243.000,00 in a single year. Many of the disposals are tendered to private companies.

Things became more serious and yet lighthearted with the presentation of the three posters, full of pictures in support of the Written Declaration. Hundreds of photos were collected within three weeks and denies the statement that within the EU politics animal welfare should not be priority. Both research and this wonderful show of concern shows it is, though some MEPs might still not be aware of this.

A member of the press pointed out that unfortunately the organizations shared a lot of information amongst themselves, but did not actively approach other media to make this tragic situation known to a broader audience.

With regards to the Written Declaration is became clear from the responses received from Members of the European Parliament that there are two main stumbling blocks in signing this Written Declaration. The first is that many Members of European Parliament consider the matter to be outside the European scope. The second is that they refrain from signing because a Written Declaration is not binding and therefore considered not effective by them.

However, another view is also apparent in those who do sign this Written Declaration. Namely that Europe has as a guiding principle in animal welfare that all animals are sentient beings and member states have the responsibility to pay full regard to their welfare. And that by signing this Written Declaration this tragedy is put on the European political agenda and will reinforce the message to those member states concerned that they have to carry this responsibility.

With only a month to go before the registration of the Written Declaration closes, we call upon all to give it a final push and write a personal letter to your Members of Parliament and request their signature for Written Declaration 0006/2013.