“Adoption is not trafficking, Prime Minister, and volunteers are not smugglers” – with this title was published on 27 July the open letter to the Greek government, which to date is co-signed by more than 180 animal welfare associations in Greece and abroad.
First of all, there is no other country in the world – correct us if we are wrong – that has reached such a point where volunteers – in the Western world of the 21st century – are forced to explain to their own government what volunteering is not traffikcing, and that adoption is not smuggling.
So what has forced so many Greek and foreign citizens to explain the obvious?
- SLANDERING AND DEFAMATION
“Traders, smugglers, we know who you are,” etc. If such comments were limited to graphic, extreme Facebook pages, we might have ignored it. But when slander and defamation is validated by politicians, journalists, widely circulated newspapers, and municipal authorities, in a western, democratic state, it is dangerous.
When a former minister posts on an extreme slanderous page his views, calling the volunteers smugglers, it is dangerous.
When there are parliamentary interpelations about ‘smuggling strays’, it is dangerous.
When newspapers like Kathimerini allow their journalists to slander, it’s dangerous.
When the Ministry of Agriculture seems to be cyberbullying by proxy, it’s dangerous.
Lying, terrorising, and intimidating and threatenting cannot be validated by the state apparatus of a democratic country.
2. PRACTICAL RAMIFICATIONS FOR THE ANIMALS
The conspiracy theory that insists on calling adoption trafficking, having infiltrated the state apparatus, results in the state mechanism acting accordingly, blocking the adoptions. Adopted animals remain in limbo, as authorities and the ministry refuse to issue the appropriate – and legal – documents for the animals to travel. Volunteers requesting the documents, which they are entitled to in accordance with European Union directives, are confronted with comments such as “you are making money!” and “you are sending them for collagen!” from mayors and veterinary services – veterinary services, i.e. people who have studied veterinary medicine. Animals are confiscated by a state who is trying to push volunteers into illegality.
Authorities in Greece seem to be playing this game: “The animal needs these documents to travel, I don’t give them to you because that’s how I like it and I confiscate it on top because it didn’t have the documents I refused to give you” . This is undemocratic, absurd and dangerous.
3. BASICALLY, WE’VE HAD ENOUGH
We’ve had enough of being slandered by extreme and racist circles.
We’ve had enough of being slandered by the state itself, which publicly calls Greek and foreign citizens smugglers.
We’ve had enough of having adoptions being deliberately blocked.
In the 21st century, in the Western world, a state is not allowed to have misinterpreted so much the concepts and rules of global animal welfare. It is not allowed to have misinterpreted any concept and rule in general. It is not allowed to slander its citizens. It is not allowed to ignore European directives. A ministry is not allowed to cyber-intimidate by proxy. Rescuers cannot be called smugglers, while bullies are being called saviours.
All of the above has forced more than 180 animal organizations from Greece and abroad to cosign an open letter to the Greek government, which you can read HERE.
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