Greek government creates ‘horse’ registry for their care and safety

equine

The Greek government on Monday announced the creation of an equine registry that will allow for their tracing and supervision of their care, following the approval by the Deputy Agricultural Development & Foods Minister Simos Kedikoglou.

Veterinary services in Greek regions will be responsible for entering information on the database that relates to identity of equines, the facilities they are kept at, and the identity of those responsible for the facilities. Each animal’s data will include origin, date of birth at the facility, and loss (death or theft).

Those born in Greece will have a unique code number, a single identification document, and be fitted with a chip.

Unsupervised equines will be the responsibility of regions with the help of municipalities. They will be responsible for collection, transport, safeguarding, feeding, and housing them whenever necessary.

The announcement comes after protests by certain animal rights groups and veterinarians who had campaigned for reforms in the equine sector.

After years of campaigning,  Greek animal welfare organisations had finally achieved their goal: the implementation of the European Commission Regulations (EU) 2015/262, commonly known as the Equine Passport Regulation, by the Greek Government in 2018.

So far existing Greek legislation was inadequate with respect to ensuring equine welfare standards. Without proper identification, horses, donkeys and mules couldn’t be linked to the person responsible for their welfare. Thanks to the implementation of the EU legislation, owners are now required by law to care responsibly for their animals and ensure welfare standards are upheld. Failure to look after their animals properly will result with legal penalties for owners.

In January 2018 Ippothesis and Animal Action Hellas handed over to the Greek Ministers for Environment and Energy and Agricultural Development and Food more than 12,000 letters signed by Greek citizens asking for stronger protection of equidae, in particular for the implementation of the EU Equine Passport Regulations as well as for the adoption of a Code of Good Practice for Equidae.

Animal welfare organisations, veterinarians, local animal welfare groups and supportive members of both the European and National Parliaments strongly welcomed the introduction of the European Commission Regulations (EU) 2015/262 into Greek Law.

“As vets we have for years been working hard to improve the welfare of horses, donkeys and mules through our outreach programme, especially working animals in island communities. The introduction of the EU ‘Equine Passport’ will mean all equines should be registered and identified with a Universal Equine Life Number (UELN). Hopefully, this will help give stronger legal protection for all equidae. It is good news for animal welfare in Greece.” had said Elisa Geskou, from the Greek Animal Welfare Fund / Animal Action Hellas.