ATHENS – A bill for stray animals rights put out for public consultation after a series of violent incidents against them has split Greeks, critics upset with a provision for mandatory sterilization, saying the animals should reproduce.
That's although the countless strays in the country don't have owners or homes and stray dogs have attacked or killed people, the New Democracy government moving to make animal abuse a felony to protect them.
It's also uncertain what obligations an animal owner would have and what constitutes neglect or abuse, with huge fines set to be imposed in severe cases, animal welfare groups estimating there are more than one million roaming about and that the number of stray cats is soaring.
“It is time for Greece to take courageous steps towards the protection of our little friends," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted, with a video about the bill accompanying his message.
"Animal protection is a matter of culture and concerns us all," he said. He also noted that,"Caring for stray animals, support of adoption, protection from abuse, ensuring their well-being. These are just some of the goals of the new bill."