Why shouldn't stray animals be killed?

Animal welfare abroad

High season for killing stations

People's attitude towards animals is very different abroad, as this relationship is influenced by religious, cultural or traditional circumstances. In Muslim countries, for example, dogs are considered unclean.

But that is just one of many examples. The fact is: In countries outside the European Union (EU), animal welfare hardly plays a role. This applies to dogs and cats as well as to the treatment of animals from agriculture.

In the Eastern European member states of the EU, such as Hungary, Poland or Romania, the money is simply not available to build suitable animal shelters in which the animals do not have to freeze even in the cold winters. Just as in many Mediterranean countries - such as Spain or Greece - many strays or abandoned animals end up in killing stations.

Before the beginning of the tourist season, so-called cleanups take place every year. An example: in the Romanian city of Brasov alone, around 7,000 dogs were caught in 2008 and most of them were euthanized.

Helping people help themselves

But meanwhile there are ways and means to support animal welfare in such countries and there are more and more animal lovers who are also active beyond the borders of Germany.

With the help of German support, for example, veterinarians are employed, medical care is ensured and sufficient feed is procured. The money for these measures mostly comes from donations or sponsorships.

Likewise, projects are supported that ensure that people help themselves. For example, castrations are carried out regularly in order to get the problem of strays under control.

Foreign agencies

Many German animal shelters and umbrella organizations such as the "German Animal Welfare Association" or the "Association against the Abuse of Animals" also cooperate with animal welfare organizations abroad. That means: you support them financially, personally or with know-how.

Larger animal shelters also often take in animals from southern or eastern European countries and put them in a good place with us. Internet referrals are also increasing steadily.

This does not solve the basic problem in the local countries, but it helps the individual animal and the animal shelter, in which a place is now free again.

Tips at the vacation spot

Even as a tourist you can do a lot for the welfare of the local animals through conscious behavior. For example, one can consider whether a country that organizes bullfights or greyhound races is in principle a suitable holiday destination.

Animal parks, in which the species-specific behavior of the animals is not taken into account, should be avoided. Or if, for example, one observes that an animal is being treated or kept badly, one should speak to the person responsible about it and thus sensitize him to the animal's suffering.

If that doesn't help, it's up to you to inform the local animal welfare association or a police authority. In no case should you buy souvenirs for which animals suffer or die, such as bags made of crocodile skin, furs or carvings made of ivory.

SWR | Status: 03.03.2020, 09:34