I know it’s all email these days, but sometimes a good old-fashioned letter packs more punch.
Many people will know of the terrible fate that befalls tens of thousands (yes, tens of thousands) of Spanish hunting dogs – Galgos and Podencos – every year at the end of the hunting season. For those who don’t know about this, you can find out more from http://www.galgonews.com/ or simply by Googling “Galgo.” If you are of a delicate disposition, then you may prefer not to do this, because it’s some of the most distressing sights and stories you will ever read. The abuse and torture suffered by these gentle dogs goes beyond the reaches of imagination; it has been happening in Spain for centuries, and is still happening today. Once the hunting season ends the dogs become “surplus to requirements” and are either barbarically killed or abandoned and left to starve to death.
There are many welfare associations who work to save these dogs, to mend them, and to rehome them. But they are as sandcastles facing a tsunami, overwhelmed by the sheer size of the situation, not only financially but logistically, physically and emotionally.
Beryl Brennan, a leading campaigner for the rights of Galgos, has composed a letter here: Letter to Spanish Galgo Federation, the umbrella organisation for the Spanish Galgo hunting associations, calling on them to take action by insisting on the micro-chipping of puppies, and that the hunters keep their dogs during the non-hunting season as is done in civilised countries throughout the world.
It is thanks to the Internet and the explosion of social media that the dark secret and shame of Spain’s hunters has been brought to light. It’s one of the reasons that many people, like myself, boycott Spanish goods and refuse to holiday there. If you could please take the time to print out a copy of the above letter in Spanish (an English translation is given), and pop it in an envelope, you can add your voice to those of thousands of other people around the world who believe that a dog has the right to humane treatment.
Please, if you care about animals, spread the word. Share on Facebook, tweet and re-tweet on Twitter; print out and post the letter, and use every other means available to help bring an end to the misery of the Spanish hunting dogs, who are by nature gentle, affectionate and trusting.