Animal welfare march in Faro

By Kim Schiffmann, in Algarve · 13-09-2019 01:00:00 · 10 Comments
Animal welfare march in Faro

Protestors took to the streets of Faro to demonstrate about the need for more sterilisation programmes for animals.

The animal welfare march, organised by numerous individuals who volunteer across many of the privately run shelters and municipal kennels within the Algarve, took place on 6 September in Faro and focused on “sterilisation and education”.

Talking to The Portugal News, Louise Aherne, said “We are focussing on the Faro Câmara and hope to be able to work together to jointly implement changes such as ‘Catch, sterilise and release’ programmes as a way to control the animal population.

“Our aim is to set an example, to challenge but equally to work alongside Faro Câmara with the longer term goal of setting up initiatives all over the Algarve”, mentioning also that a speech in form of a letter was going to be presented to the president of Faro Câmara.

The letter to the president read: “We have come to the capital of the Algarve today, representing various animal rescue associations and shelters, to ask for your support. In recent years collective pleas for help and campaigns to raise awareness of the stray and abandoned animal population have been met with indifference. The response of the different Câmaras is inadequate. However, we believe that if the capital of the Algarve will take the lead, resources and effective measures can be coordinated throughout the region.”

The facilities set up by the municipal authorities are being criticised in the speech for never having met the needs of the region to cope with the numbers of strays and abandoned animals rescued. “More often than not the municipal kennels are full so they rely on the independent shelters to take them in. Animals taken to municipal kennels often spend their entire lives there. The law no. 27/2016 bans the killing of stray animals as a means of population control, favouring instead sterilisation.”

The letter identifies the neglect of care and lack of responsibility of the population as the root of the problem which brings real risks with it, namely disease, danger to the public and to visiting tourists. “Much needed is a public awareness campaign, to educate and promote responsible domestic animal ownership. Too many people still shy away from sterilisation of their dogs and cats because of lack of education and information about the many benefits and economic hardship makes it difficult to afford. Incentives must be created to make sterilisation affordable and within the reach of the wider population.

“This is a social issue, a matter of public importance. Animal ownership carries responsibilities together with penalties for neglect and cruelty, and every citizen should be aware of this. The practice of easy abandonment of pets and dumping litters of puppies and kittens next to refuge bins has to stop.

“It is not acceptable in the modern world and it is not a pretty sight. Equally we look to local government for a better understanding of the problem we are dealing with daily. Many associations, independent shelters and groups are at your disposal.”

Louise said that they felt that the march had been a “success” and that they had support “from the majority of independent and municipal kennels within the Algarve and were delighted both Cristovão Norte from PSD and Paulo Baptista from PAN were present as well”.

She concluded: “The next steps are to engage with the President and discuss the contents of the letter. I believe we can work together, we are not asking for miracle solutions but to help us be able to implement education programmes and sterilisation programmes throughout the Algarve. Suggestions such as access to billboards for sterilisation campaigns, helping us implement capture, sterilise and release laws and importantly not ignoring the significant numbers of independent shelters with 1000’s of animals needing their voice to be heard as well as those in municipal kennels.”


If there was a program where a limited amount of people (equal to the number of homeless animals) , could enjoy tax breaks for as long as the animals are cared for...this would incentivise adoption which would then free up resources to clean up the streets.
I witnessed a pack of 5 dogs running wild back and forth across the 125...that's insane!?
This should not be happening in a civilised society.

by Leonardo Ferreira from Algarve on 19-09-2019 12:18:00

As a Portuguese person who was raised in South Africa with a great passion for animals and a great dislike for poachers, I was so sad to see the complete disregard for 'man/woman's best friend' in what I believed to be a first world country'. The demise, neglect and complete disregard of animals makes us no better than the poachers in Africa!
I am really delighted that such a brave and relentless effort has been made by these heroes to be the voice of our fellow creatures.
Thank the heavens that not ALL people have lost their souls and basic human kindness still exists.

by Leonardo Ferreira from Algarve on 19-09-2019 12:05:00

It's sad period! About a years ago I was thinking to move to Portugal animal welfare in these county it's very poor still I change my my mind!

by Maria mercado from USA on 15-09-2019 10:06:00

I totally support the March and wished I could have been there!! Animals mean the world to me and always have and always will!!

by Valerie from USA on 14-09-2019 07:31:00

This is so wonderful, it makes me less ashamed of my fellow humans who have little or no regard for animals. I pray for the day when the sterilisation of all dogs and cats is mandatory throughout the entire world.

by Patricia Hamilton from UK on 14-09-2019 02:04:00

I wish i could attend the march.100 percent support of the march.

by Tatiana M Cardenas from USA on 14-09-2019 05:58:00

Yes this is needed for sure ..good on the people doing the march.. especially the 80yr old lady. We need this in UK too.......there are too many animals that need neutering too many be born nx in USA a lot are put to sleep. Its so sad and crus. Its not the animals fault..

by Bev Gannon from UK on 14-09-2019 04:19:00

I take care of a 9 yr old female Stafordshire Bull Terrior. Probably my last best buddy. I'm 73 and my first buddy was a golden spaniel. 2 St Bernards, 2 German Shepards. And a poodle that my mom raised. Here in Palm Beach Gardes fl we euthanize them. Rabbies shots are a serious problem. My Dublin had contracted cancer timers. The cone she had to where was the worst of it all. Today Dub is as energetic as the day she was born. Her utters turned red an had to be lasered. Its been 2 yrs since they removed the cancerous timer and it hasn't grown back. My Vet sent a letter to animal care and control of Palm Beach County stating there will be no more rabbies vaccinations due to the risk of contracting cancer. This is very controversial. My Dub is proof it works! There needs to be a survey of canines who have been vaccinated against Rabbies those that haven't. I don't want to believe it's a money generated scheme.

by Ron from USA on 14-09-2019 03:19:00

I travelled down from Alcobaca for the march as this subject is equally relevant where I live. There needs to be Portuguese wide awareness of getting dogs and cats sterilised. Both the public and private shelters are overflowing. Many dogs get adopted to the UK and if Brexit goes ahead who knows if this will still be possible.

by Gillian from Other on 13-09-2019 11:16:00

I marched at this, my 80 yr old mother marched along side me, we sang for the animals. Lack of education in owners is the core of the problem, overpopulation is the outcome, which leads to neglect and abandonment.
Let's hope this year, something can shift this terrible dynamic.we are all here to help, we simply need the support of the authorities.

by Lisa McLenahan from Algarve on 13-09-2019 08:00:00
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