• Ippothesis

After race track

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One more ex race horse died a few days ago. At least this time among people who took this horse away from the kill buyer and desperately tried to save its life.

Following footsteps of the horses leaving the race track, and not only, had we realized that no recognized association maintained an active equine recording and performance database as required by the embedded Community directives.

The public corporation named «Jockey Club of Greece» according to Greek laws 858/1937 (A 367) and 4603/2019 Article 47, modified Article 2 of A.N. 399/1968 among its competencies is to: l) take care, take action and recommend to the in the case of competent bodies adopting rules and taking measures to improve the quality of purebred horses, and to ensure the wellbeing of horses, during and after their racing activity,

But how will they ensure their well-being after stopping their racing activity when they do not know where they are? Representatives of the Ministries of Rural Development, Finance and the Ministry of Culture and Sport are represented in the Board of Directors of the Jockey Club of Greece.

All a trader/buyer needs to remove a horse from the race track is a simple statement of withdraw from sports and that the person who will transport it has a "legal" transportation. Then he is free to carry it away for any purpose, for any use, for as many breeding as possible, for resale, for any kind of life or death. After its departure thoroughbred becomes a ghost for competent authorities and associations. Very few of the ex race horses have a good life without abuse.

The Greek Ministry of Rural Development has not implemented any legislation (504/2008, 2015/262) for the registration and recognition of equidae in our country. Not even one of the domestic or foreign animal-health organizations has denounced this illegality for so many years.

The links in the money chain from the exploitation of equidae in Greece are fully covered by the principles paid to ensure their well-being.

A year ago when we tried to save a three-year ex race horse, locked inside a warehouse starving to die, possibly due to some kind of disease, an animal welfare association was against us defending the kill buyer. Among the Board of Directors of this animal welfare association are people involved with racetrack.

The price we pay for choosing to put an end to abuse and lack of legislation is huge and many times our volunteers face a dead end. The power of money of illegal trading is difficult to be defeated. Only a few exceptions among sports world and horse lovers support our efforts.

Most of our letters to Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development remain unanswered. We focus to enforce and apply directives and regulations regarding official associations and authorities on registration and equine identification.

Already we have officially stated the problem in the petition we submitted at the European Parliament through Committee of Petition EU under registration number 1076/2019 and our written complaint to the European Commission for Health and Safety under registration number CHAP (2019) 01176 . Since we do not know where the equidae are based and how they live in our country, we certainly do not know whether kill buyers are responsible for a future horse meat scandal.

Advocacy is the key to end equine abuse in Greece and through our legal advisor we will make all necessary legal actions to stop abuse. Those who consider equines as tools with no feelings, specially the authorities which allow their abuse will be held accountable and Ippothesis will make sure of it. All expenses for legal services are covered by members of our association and the few donations we receive.

Apart from organizing music concerts it would be much more useful to organize a horse welfare program for thoroughbreds no longer suitable for racing.

We know that life will be more difficult for us because of legal actions against authorities but this is the only way to achieve equine welfare in our country. Ippothesis records and data are well secured in case of any accident.

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