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IPPOTHESIS submitted complaint at the E.U against Ministry of Rural Development and food for failure of implementing EU regulation on equine registration 2015/262.
Panhellenic Equine Welfare Association, Ippothesis legal representatives, Michaela Lymperopoulou and Giorgos Nikopoulos, have filed a complaint – infringement at the European Commission on April 17th, against Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food and any person responsible for the non-incorporation of Community Regulation 2015/262 concerning methods of the identification of equidae.
Due to the fact that Greece does not have an active electronic database and has not incorporated the previous Regulation 504/2008, in accordance with the Article 39 of Regulation 2015/262 shall apply from 1 July 2016 in those Member States that have not established an operational central database by 1 January 2016.it is required the registration and the electronic database from 1 July 2016.
Following our persistent efforts through letters, petition (with Animal Action org), written questions in European and Greek Parliament, we achieved to have a public consultation of the Ministry’s working group in which we have submitted written our proposals for the incorporation of Equine Passport Regulation. And that was the end for the competent authorities.
In Greece of 2019 Ministry of Rural Development and Food illegally has applied a document of 2002 as the official document with which equines should be transported and identified. It is awkward that this document at page 21 declares “this is not an equine passport or proof of ownership”. Result of this denial for implementing equine passport law is equine abuse, backyard breeding and the profit of kill buyers.
As an equine welfare association we got a horse by Public Prosecution order for definitive removal which travelled through whole country as a working equine, worked in several islands carrying only one document signed by a vet in 2015. No identification, no vaccination, not even one inspection for means of transportation or for the welfare of this poor animal and so many others.
While Ministry of Rural Development and Food is represented by the official OIE web page, World Organization Animal Health, as their Delegate in Greece, the same time Ministry is not applying Animal Welfare Identification which ensures welfare. http://www.oie.int/about-us/delegates-new/
The reality for equidae in Greece, as formulated by the competent authorities which mainly serves profit of kill buyers and illegal breeding is as follows:
There is no electronic database for the registration of equines and there is no identification of equines,
A citizen according to the Ministry’s letter is defined as a breeder even when having equines tied at the countryside regardless of their welfare situation. When equines are more than 5 the “owner” is considered as an official breeder. EU Regulations about equine breeding (rules for registered breeding societies) which is in force since November 2018 if it will ever be applied that might happen in another century.
Only those maintaining legal Farming Associations have an identification document but when a change of owner occurs there is no official electronic database to be recorded, Exported and imported equines (those who don’t have already a passport) cannot be identified ,
Working equines, a category which really suffers in our country since there is not an officially health code or guideline for their welfare and condition, are not identified. A 2 year old equine can be overweight loaded, work, die and no one will ever find out about it,
Equines withdrawn sports action and change ownership are not recorded as there is no electronic database,
As far as we know neither competent association for thoroughbreds in Greece, which according to its articles has to record equidae withdrawn from horse races, does not maintains a record of ownership change. Which means that with 50E a kill buyer can buy an ex racehorse, resell it with high profit and no certificates for breeding or riding and if that doesn’t happen kill buyers have the freedom to act according to their profit desire,
There are no official health records for equidae except for those who already have passports,
Backyard breeding and death of unregistered equines is the awful reality in our country.
We are not even considering as an option the creation of an institutional framework on equine welfare rules.
Observing equine abuse cases and how easily competent authorities give a certificate of well-being for malnourished equines, at least if those animals have been registered and identified maybe in the future there is a chance that their abuse might be detected.