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Home / Spanish senator asks government to protect hunting dogs

Spanish senator asks government to protect hunting dogs

15-12-2021

Senator Carles Mulet has asked the Spanish government questions about the situation of hunting dogs like galgos (greyhounds) and podencos in the country. Among other things, he asked what actions are being taken to protect these hunting dogs from mistreatment. Galgos are used for both hunting and racing. Furthermore, it is estimated that some 50,000 galgos and other types of hunting dogs are dumped or killed annually after the hunting season.

hunting dogs

Mulet, representative of the Valencian political party alliance Compromís, indicates that 5,000 galgos are dumped annually in Seville alone. He sees the need to get to the root of the problem, by changing the laws so that these will protect hunting dogs. According to Mulet, there are currently no laws protecting galgos and other hunting dogs, only some regulations of the autonomous regions.

50,000 hunting dogs

It is estimated that 50,000 galgos and other hunting dogs are dumped and/or killed annually after the hunting season. However, official data does not exist. According to the most recent data from the Spanish environmental and animal police unit SEPRONA, only eight galgos were dumped in Spain in 2019. In response, the Spanish Party for the Animals PACMA compiled a report based on data from 98 shelters: in 2019, they had rescued 5,588 abandoned galgos, as well as 3,000 hunting dogs of other breeds. Some shelters reported having taken 900 dogs off the streets in one year.

To gain more visibility into the actual number of galgos rescued each year, the Directorate General of Animal Protection launched a new registration system in January. The director of the directorate, Sergio Garcia Torres, explained the main purpose of the system in a video on twitter:

“February is the month when most galgos and podencos are abandoned in our country. We do not have official data of the amount of dumped dogs as of this month. From the Directorate General of Animal Rights we are going to collect all this data through a form and we are going to make it available to the security services of the state. With this data, we will compile a statistic on the dogs that are actually abandoned.”

Galgo problem

The Spanish galgo is mainly used in the autonomous regions of Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and Castile and León. The hunters see them as objects: when the dogs no longer serve, the hunters leave them to their own devices. Sometimes they kill the animals by throwing them into wells or ravines or hanging them from trees. For example, in the municipality of Tarancón in 2018 and 2021, two mass graves were found with at least 30 and 10 carcasses of galgos, respectively. These finds led to much commotion in Spanish society.

Campaign Save the Galgos

In October, CAS International and the Spanish organization AnimaNaturalis launched the Save the Galgos campaign. We have joined forces to draw attention to the galgo problem and to realize a better protection of the dogs. Since October, we have visited several regions, such as Madrid, Valencia, Catalonia and Aragon, where we are informing the media and elected representatives about the need to improve the existing regulations and create new laws. Soon we will visit Andalusia.

Petition

Furthermore, we are collecting signatures with a petition that we will use as support in our lobbying activities. For example, a new national animal protection law will soon be debated. We want this one to also protect hunting dogs. Sign our petition here: savethegalgos.org

Read the story of Menta, a galgo that was maltreated and dumped by hunters in Spain.

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