February 1st is World Galgo Day. Every year, on this week’s Sunday there are International protests, predominantly in Europa, where organisations and supporters gather in the streets with their galgos and podencos to draw attention to the suffering of these hunting dogs in Spain.
The initiator of these protests is Maria Gemma Garcia, the founder of Plataforma NAC. No A la Caza. 12 years ago, Gemma started demonstrating in the streets with 30 people alongside their galgo. They were laughed at. Today, more than 600 organisations in more than 83 European cities support her. Through digital channels, support for her cause extends across the globe.
The podenco too!
Today, World Galgo Day does not solely revolve around galgos. Historically, Podencos have been the same victim of the hunt as galgos. They are subjected to the same kind of hunters, the same abuse and are lacking the same legal protection and enforcement. We are endeavoring to include podencos in the same narrative as galgos, and have successfully put this request forward to politicians. If we look at the statistics, the number of podencos are even more horrific than the number of galgos involved.
De number of podencos in the Spanish hunt is estimated at slightly less than 2/3, with the number of galgos being a little over 1/3. Thus Podencos deserve to be represented adequately in the lobby.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the streets could not be filled with people and their galgos and podencos this year. Still, people worldwide showed their support for the cause, mostly through digital channels.
In the Netherlands, the GalgoPlatform, which is a collaboration of organisations endeavoring to end the suffering of galgos and podencos, has organised the Plataforma NAC protests. We look back on a pleasant collaboration, both with PlataForma NAC and the other collaborating organisations. Participating parties were Greyhounds in Nood Nederland (GINN), Greyhoundfriends, Podencoworld, 112 Carlota Galgos Holland, Happy Dog Maspalomas, Cas International, Paws for San Antonio Moron Belgium, Hobodogs, De Galgomutsen, and DutchGalgoLobby.
Each and every one of these organisations has committed to making the protest for galgos and podencos on World Galgo Day visible. Especially Podencoworld managed to achieve a significant reach.
A fruitful Lobby
In addition, the organisations participated in the lobby during the conference ‘Intergroup Session on the Welfare of Galgos and Greyhounds’ organised by the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, chaired by Anja Hazekamp. The lobby has proved fruitful on topics such as:
- Inhibiting monetary subsidies for the hunt;
- Recalling rehalas as cultural affairs, as was incorporate in local law in Andalucia since 2020;
- And hunting with hunting dogs is no longer protected as cultural tradition under article 13, but is regarded as a private matter.
In a joint letter to the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, the organisations of GalgoPlatform have expressed their appreciation for the much needed intervention in this Spanish affair.
[Links could also be made to (some of) the participating parties of the lobby]