Greek government creates ‘horse’ registry for care and safety

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

The veterinary services of the Greek regions will be responsible for entering information into the database relating to the identity of the equidae, the facilities in which they are kept and the identity of the managers of the facilities. Data for each animal will include origin, date of birth in the facility, and loss (death or theft).

People born in Greece will have a unique code number, a unique identification document and will be equipped with a chip.

Unsupervised horses will be the responsibility of the regions with the help of the municipalities. They will be responsible for collecting, transporting, saving, feeding and lodging whenever necessary.

The announcement comes after protests from some animal rights groups and vets who had been campaigning for reforms in the equine sector.

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

Until now, the existing Greek legislation was inadequate in terms of ensuring equine welfare standards. Without proper identification, horses, donkeys and mules could not be linked to the person responsible for their welfare. Thanks to the implementation of EU legislation, owners are now obliged by law to care for their animals responsibly and ensure that welfare standards are met. Failure to properly care for their pets will result in legal penalties for owners.

In January 2018, Ippothesis and Animal Action Hellas delivered to the Greek Ministers of Environment and Energy and Agricultural Development and Food more than 12,000 letters signed by Greek citizens asking for stronger protection of equines, in particularly for the implementation of the European regulation on equine passports. 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 European and national parliaments have warmly welcomed the introduction of European Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/262 into Greek law.

“As veterinarians, we have worked for years to improve the welfare of horses, donkeys and mules through our outreach program, especially working animals in island communities. The introduction of the EU ‘equine passport’ means that all equidae must be registered and identified with a Universal Equine Life Number (UELN). Hopefully this will help strengthen legal protection for all equines. This is good news for animal welfare in Greece. said Elisa Geskou, of the Greek Fund for Animal Welfare/Animal Action Hellas.

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