Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Animal Group Raises Awareness in Portugal

I was pleased to come across this article. It's a pre-Christmas story, but I'll take it. My family is from Portugal, specifically the Azores islands, and I know better than anyone about the cultural mindset of this country towards animals. It's probably no worse than Puerto Rico, which doesn't say much though.

So I was pleased to read about the group ANIMAL and their efforts to educate the Portuguese about the responsibilities of animal ownership. I also see that they are interested in establishing an animal sanctuary in Lisbon.


Thousands of pets are abandoned each year after being given as presents, only for the new owners to find the responsibility too overwhelming.

Miguel Moutinho, president of the ANIMAL protection association, told The Resident that this was one of the leading causes of the dire animal abandonment problem in Portugal.

...The current laws are vague and inadequate”, he said adding “they are difficult to apply and there is lots of bureaucracy”. He also said that there was a problem with the authorities taking cases of animal cruelty seriously.

“Next year, we are planning many initiatives and continuing with existing projects including presenting a proposal to the government to change the legislation to provide more protection for animals”.

Considering that schools are among the most important places to encourage animal protection, he said that he is eager to come to the Algarve to give seminars in the international schools, as well as state schools.

According to Moutinho, ANIMAL is keen to establish a non-profit animal sanctuary in Lisbon, with the prospect of expanding to other regions, including the Algarve.

As part of this plan, ANIMAL is endeavouring to set up a mobile veterinarian unit that will travel the length of the country to treat sick animals. People who cannot afford medical pet bills would benefit and the units would also treat abandoned animals.

Moutinho said: “Animal cruelty can only change when peoples’ attitudes change and with stronger legislation and more awareness, this may be possible but we must be united”.

For more information about ANIMAL, please visit (site available in English).

Photo by Pascoe Porter.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Animal has this petition on line:

For a Modern, Effective, Progressist and Fair Animal Protection Code in Portugal

Target: President of the Portuguese Parliament
Web site:

Thank you

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