May 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Veterinarians across Greece go on 24-hour strike

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Veterinarians across Greece will begin a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 17 January due to… with pet lawwhich they called “stupid” and “irrelevant” and not solving the problem of homeless animals in the country.

The Panhellenic Veterinary Association (PVA) is calling on its members to go on strike in protest against the new law on the sterilization of pets, which comes into force on January 21, 2024.


VVA speaks against mandatory sterilization of companion animals, as it poses a risk to their health. They also oppose mandatory DNA testing of companion animals and a €150 fine for owners, and no longer allowing veterinarians to treat animals that are not registered and microchipped.

Note: to carry out a DNA test and registration, the owner must pay a fee to the state of 135 euros for each animal, 15 euros to the veterinarian for obtaining the genetic material, plus the cost of sending the sample to a DNA bank, additional costs, by law they cannot exceed 10 euros.

According to the BBA, such “measures” do not eliminate the problem of homeless animals, as was stated as the goal of the additional legislation, but, on the contrary, aggravate the situation. They also demand that the health record book be recognized as an official health certificate for companion animals, along with the e-book and passport.

In addition, they demand that municipal veterinary clinics and shelters be staffed and financed, which are the only means of helping homeless animals. In its statement, the BBA explained that it opposes the receipt and transfer of genetic material from companion animals, and demanded that they not be fined for performing their medical duties. This law as a whole is moving in the wrong direction, the BBA emphasized and noted:

  • It will not help reduce the number of stray animals, and general sterilization is a measure that contradicts modern scientific data and can, as practice shows, even be dangerous for a certain number of animals and lead to a deterioration in their well-being.
  • The gray area created by veterinarians’ handling of unbranded animals is unacceptable both for the health and welfare of the animals and for the operating environment in veterinary clinics with a “boom” in the interpretation of the law and the imposition of fines.
  • The basis for storing genetic material is a practically impractical measure that does not bring significant benefits in solving the problem of homeless animals. Its goal, on the one hand, is the “photographic” disposal of public money, and on the other, tax collections from pet owners.
  • The new electronic pet registry proposed to introduce adds unnecessary red tape and wastes review time, turning the veterinarian into a secretary of state.

Among other things, veterinarians are demanding that the value-added tax on vaccines and drugs be kept below 24%, pointing out that the high cost negatively affects the health of animals and society due to the high costs of owners who are currently facing difficult times.

Naming the law “stupid”the BBA management committee emphasized that “it was drawn up by the most incompetent technocrats (officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) with no connection to veterinary medicine, who ignored most of the proposals of the VVA”. They talked about how the law “contains a number of unscientific clauses and ‘non-applicable’ provisions that must be implemented.”

Let us remind you that the Ministry of Agriculture created a register of companion animals back in 2015. But the clever Greek government had to start all over again and – why not, it is common practice – to give contracts and work to companies and individuals loyal to the ruling party.

PS Under the new law, veterinarians can no longer treat rescued stray cats and dogs because they are not microchipped? Is this even normal?

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