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Society

After More Dog Abuse, Greece Gets Tough On Animal Cruelty

The savage castration – with pliers – of a dog on the island of Crete has driven Greece's New Democracy government to propose tougher laws for animal abuse, which happens often in the country.

“The recent brutal animal torture that took place on Crete highlights this need for such a framework,” Minister of Rural Development and Food Makis Voridis said, adding that legislation will be sent to Parliament.

He spoke as outrage grew over the incident a village in Hania in which the dog was tied up and hung and tortured, losing substantial amounts of blood but surviving as police hunted the man who did it – who was left unnamed.

He's said to be a 55-year-old civil servant who fled, but Greek police, under privacy laws, rarely release names of suspects even if accused of violent crimes or those which would be hazard to the public.

In February, a man – also unrevealed – was given a 15-month suspended jail sentence and fined 5,000 euros ($5897.75) by a misdemeanors court in the town of Igoumenitsa, western Greece, which found him guilty of beating a puppy for grabbing a chicken.

He was also ordered to pay for the cost of the trial. The court did not find any mitigating circumstances in the case. The dog had found a new home.

An animal charity in the regional unit of Thesprotia, which filed the case against the defendant, said on its Facebook page that the ruling is a “vindication” for the abused dog and volunteers who fight for animal rights.

In July, 2018, the news site albawaba reported that animal cruelty was widespread in Greece, noting to incidents such as the animal welfare society of Karditsa in northern Greece finding a speared cat trapped in a cage.

A suspect, a 60-year-old man, reportedly claimed that the cat was eating his birds and that he was unaware of the existence of animal abuse laws.

That came a week after news emerged that two soldiers had abused a dog by throwing him off a cliff, laughing and filming the incident.

“These are just two incidents of the brutal reality of animal abuse in Greece and what animal welfare societies and volunteers must deal with on what they say is almost a daily basis,” the Middle Eastern site said.

It also reported it was common to find newborn puppies or kittens thrown into the garbage alive or drowned, especially in the countryside but while it was happening the then-ruling Radical Left SYRIZA moved to lessen penalties for animal abuse before withdrawing it after outrage among society.

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