VANS- the truth about strays travelling by road

For years, Greece, having fallen victim to propaganda by some extreme conspiracy theorists, who have no idea how animal welfare works globally, has been blocking on the adoptions of stray animals, depriving many of them of the opportunity to find a home and falsely calling adoptions “mass export of strays” and “smuggling”.


WHAT ARE THE VANS
Trucks or vans that move pets, strays and non-domestic, are legal carriers, equipped, air-conditioned and licensed to carry a large number of pets.

WHY DO THEY EXIST?
First of all, because travelling by road is the safest way for an animal to travel. It is also the most economical and practical way. A flight by plane, where up to two medium-sized dogs are usually allowed, is, among other things, the most anti-environmental mode of transport.


WHY DO ADOPTED STRAYS TRAVEL IN VANS?
When an animal is adopted abroad or within Greece, in a different county than the one where it was rescued, it needs to travel to its family. This trip is made with a legal carrier.


Travelling with a legal pet transporter is safer and more economical. After consultation between the responsible animal welfare association, the future family and of course the professional transporter, the animal begins the journey and the family, who are in contact with the carrier, waits for it at the meeting point, in Greece or abroad.


With professional carriers travel many pets as well, whose families move abroad and do not find a flight that accepts animals, or who move to England/Ireland, where, because they are islands, the cost and bureaucracy for transporting animals by air is enormous (these countries that are islands, as well as Australia and New Zealand, protect their biodiversity with much stricter rules).


WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ANIMALS IN A VAN?
First of all, it’s not “so many”. There are as many as the van has a license to legally transport. Pet transporters make certain routes. Whenever there is an itinerary, families are informed and, if the day of arrival is convenient, the adopted animal travels home. In a van there may be two dogs from a club, traveling to Germany, a cat from another club, traveling to Switzerland, the pets of a Greek, moving abroad etc etc. Each pet travels to a different destination, just uses the same means.


HOW CAN WE UNDESTRAND IT BETTER?
Vans carrying pets are like buses for people. Inside a bus there are 20 to 30 people who each have their own destination, their own history, their own personality. Each person has his own papers and, if he travels abroad, his own passport, his own visa, residence permit and, in the age of the corovirus, also his own “locator form”, a traceability document, something like a solemn declaration that clarifies various things, so that, in case of contagion of one of the passengers, other passengers can be informed.


In Greece, the pet pet transportation by road is called “mass export of strays”, which is like calling the communter bus “mass migration of immigrants” – goes beyond all logic.


IS THIS ONLY HAPPENING IN GREECE?


Well, it is only in Greece that there is an extreme minority, which insists on slandering and blocking the adoptions of strays, names the transport of animals and adoption as ‘mass export’.
Throughout Europe, adopted animals travel by road in this way. In other cases, animal-friendly charter planes carry a large number of animals by air – far more economical and eco-friendly, than making 50 different flights for each of them.


In Greece, a small group of slanderers, with inaccuracies and mostly racist rhetoric, tries to prevent animals from being adopted by presenting false information about all of the above.

The illegal transport and trade of purebred from puppy mills, which the whole animal welfare world, as well as the European Union, are trying to stop, is confused with adoption, with huge implications for strays, who are denied the opportunity to find a home.
These conspiracy theories, having even influenced political circles and public authorities, forced more than 160 associations, in Greece and abroad, to write an open letter to the Greek government, explaining that adoption is not trade or smuggling – go figure…
A world first (and shame) for Greece…

*This article, like most in this website are intended for the education of the Greek public, and the Greek authorities. However, many issues covered affect foreign volunteers, and for that reason, some of our articles are translated to English.

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