ANIMAL RIGHTS

Animal rights group condemns hunting of stray greyhounds in Ávila

Spanish authorities often let hunters shoot abandoned pets, says Justicia Animal

Greyhounds are often abused and abandoned, say animal activists.
Greyhounds are often abused and abandoned, say animal activists.JOSEP LLUÍS SELLART

The provincial authority in Ávila, central Spain, has given the go-ahead for two abandoned greyhounds to be hunted down in Langa, a municipality of 538 residents, an animal rights group has denounced.

Hunters have been authorized to shoot the strays since December 9, but because they were unsuccessful, the permission has been extended until Monday.

Several local residents called on activist group Justicia Animal to report the case.

Once they see they are no longer being beaten, greyhounds become friendly and make excellent pets”

Matilde Cubillo of Justicia Animal

“The animals won’t let anyone catch them,” said Matilde Cubillo, president of Justicia Animal. “We all know too well how some greyhound owners treat their own dogs, and that is why they’re so scared and hard to catch. But that in no way justifies shooting them down.”

Cubillo said another group named Asociación Scooby, which specializes in greyhound care, wants to use cage-traps to catch the dogs without hurting them.

The head of Justicia Animal said that animal rights groups catch “hundreds of abandoned greyhounds” in Spain using this method.

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“Once they see they are no longer being beaten, these dogs become friendly and make excellent pets, as they are very sociable,” says Cubillo, who said it was “shameful” that Spanish administrations were authorizing these kinds of hunts, which are intended for dealing with wild animals that could pose a danger to humans.

Cubillas said she believed the hunts were “just an excuse to be able to keep on shooting, to keep on hunting. It is a method used by many local governments to get rid of abandoned pets.

“Regional authorities also have no scruples about handing out these authorizations in order to kill dogs and cats with the excuse that they have turned wild.”

English version by Susana Urra.

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