Chania town council unanimously approved the use of the municipal veterinarian surgery for the 21 and 22 July by a group of six Greek volunteer vets in order to sterilise ‘between 25 and 45’ stray animals. The announcement continues: “the animals will be collected by the municipal stray collection unit” which implies that there will be no involvement of the local animal welfare organisations. It is not clear how or where the animals will be cared for after the operations and if the programme will include stray cats.
Chania local councillor Katerina Voutetaki in a communication to local media, while welcoming the involvement of Greek volunteer vets in a stray sterilisation programme, draws attention to the very serious problem of stray and abandoned animals, whose number is increasing exponentially.
The municipality bears a large part of the responsibility Ms Voutetaki argues. The monthly sterilisation programme staffed by European volunteer vets has been stopped in Chania town for over a year now thus depriving treatment to over 1000 stray animals that could have contributed to a reduction of unwanted kittens and puppies.
A large part of the blame can also be laid at the door of the local vets Ms Voutetaki continues, that put self-interest over the welfare of animals in trying to obstruct the free sterilisation programme in every possible way.
The responsible for animal welfare officers change frequently and the work of the municipality is limited to discussions over discussions without any concrete outcomes.
The municipal council, however, managed to decide on 25-45 sterilisation without the involvement of any welfare organisations who have better knowledge of the problem in the street than municipality officers who have decided that ‘Greek vets are good, foreign vets are cruel’. and this is the same mentality that resulted in the municipal vet boycotting the sterilisation programme last year by being absent from the post. But to turn down 1000 operations by ‘foreigners’ (EU qualified and registered professionals), in favour of 25 – 45 carried out by Greek vets will hardly solve the problem of strays, Ms Voutetaki concludes.