A English translation of the current Greek Animal Welfare Act with law number 4830/2021.
LEGISLATIVE NO. 4830/2021
of the Hellenic Republic
We enact the following law passed by Parliament:
PART A: Framework for the welfare of companion animals (Argos program)
CHAPTER I: General provisions
Article 1 – Purpose
The purpose is to protect domestic animals and ensure their welfare, to strengthen responsible pet ownership, to establish a clear and coherent legal framework for dealing with stray domestic animals and to develop a strategy to drastically reduce their numbers by adopting programs such as strict compliance with animal welfare legislation.
Article 2 – Definitions
In this sense, they mean:
(1) ‘animal’: any living organism that is sentient and that moves on land, in the air and in the sea or in any other aquatic ecosystem or wetland.
(2) ‘Welfare’ means the good physical and mental condition of the animal in relation to the conditions under which it lives and dies. An animal is living in welfare if: (a) it is provided with comfortable, safe, healthy and suitable housing adapted to its natural way of life; (b) it does not suffer from conditions such as pain, fear and distress; and (c) it is able to express behaviors that are important to its good physical and mental condition.
Animal welfare regulations ensure the following principles:
I. Freedom from hunger and thirst, with access to food and water of adequate quality and quantity.
II. Freedom from unnecessary suffering and stress, with safe and clean housing and rest, protected from adverse weather conditions.
III. Freedom from pain, injury and disease, with appropriate care and veterinary attention.
IV. Freedom from fear and anxiety, with appropriate behavior and treatment.
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V. Freedom to express normal behavior, with appropriate living and socialization conditions.
(3) ‘pet animal’ means any animal kept or intended to be kept by humans predominantly in the home for reasons of animal welfare or listed in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on contagious animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the field of animal health (L 84). When articles herein refer to specific domestic animals such as dogs and cats, they are specifically mentioned. Assistance dogs, working dogs and therapy animals are also companion animals. Wild animals cannot be kept as pets.
(4) ‘dominant (controlled) companion animal’ means the companion animal that has an owner. Direct offspring of a dominant dog or cat are automatically defined as dominant animals owned by the owner of the female parent.
(5) ‘Stray pet’: the pet that has no owner.
(6) ‘Owner’ means the natural person who keeps a pet animal primarily in his or her household and under his or her immediate supervision and care. This person also appears on the animal’s identification card.
(7) ‘Adopter’: the natural person who temporarily houses one or more stray pets until they are adopted. The contractor may be chosen by the municipality or animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations registered in the respective sub-register of Section 23, as well as by natural persons who have a licensed stray animal shelter or an animal shelter, if this complies with the specifications of Articles 28 and 29.
A takeover agreement shall be concluded between the contractor and the municipality or animal welfare organization or non-profit animal welfare organization or natural person, specifying the contractor’s obligations and all other necessary details.
(8) ‘Professional breeder’ means the natural or legal person who breeds and sells pet animals for commercial purposes.
(9) ‘Amateur breeder’ means the natural person who breeds a dog or cat as an amateur, non-commercially and profitably, with the aim of preserving the breeds of the animal and is registered in the breeder’s register of professional and amateur breeders: National Register of Companion Animals (EMZS), after certification by the Kennel Club of Greece for dogs, or the Association of Amateur Dog Breeders of Greece for dogs and the Hellenic Cat Club or the Cat Breeders Association of Greece for cats.
(10) ‘Small assistance animal’ means the assistance animal whose weight does not exceed ten (10) kilograms.
(11) ‘Assistance dog’: the trained guide dog for the blind and the assistance and protection dog for people with disabilities or diseases.
(12) ‘Working dog’ means the dog under the active guidance of its handler and with an auxiliary function in the performance of its handler’s duties or purposes, used for hunting (hunting dog), guarding herds (herding dog), guarding properties (guard dog), the search and rescue dog, the dog used for detecting poison bait, as well as the dog used by the armed forces, security forces and law enforcement agencies of the Independent Tax Authority (A. A.D.E.) and the Ministry of Finance.
(13) ‘Therapy animal’ means any animal that is used for therapeutic purposes for the benefit of a person, especially a person with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, mental or any other form of mental disability, or has received special training with the legal certificates.
(14) ‘Dangerous pet’ means the pet animal that repeatedly exhibits unprovoked and unwarranted aggression toward humans or other animals without being threatened, and the animal that suffers from or carries a serious disease that is transmissible to humans or other animals and is not curable in the opinion of a veterinarian.
(15) ‘Serious disease’ means any contagious or non-contagious disease which is of immediate and high risk to the health of humans or animals, of the same or a different species, and any disease which may result in a serious deterioration of the animal’s health status according to a relevant veterinary opinion.
(16) ‘disease’ means the occurrence of infection and infestation in animals, with or without clinical or pathological manifestations, caused by one or more pathogens.
(17) ‘Pathogen’ means any pathogen transmissible to animals or humans that can cause disease in animals.
(18) ‘Risk source’ means any pathogen in an animal or product or disease in an animal that may adversely affect human or animal health.
(19) ‘Risk’ means the probability of occurrence and the likely magnitude of the biological and economic consequences of an adverse effect on animal health or public health.
(20) ‘Animal shelter’ means the licensed establishment or the establishment which meets the requirements of Articles 28 and 29 and where stray domestic animals are placed. Placement of animals in a shelter ensures their life in a safe environment, operating according to the rules of animal welfare, until their adoption or reintegration into the familiar environment.
(21) ‘Adoption of a stray pet’ means the transfer of a stray pet to a state of control.
(22) ‘Identification document’ means the animal passport issued in accordance with Annex III to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 577/2013 of 28 June 2013 on model identification documents for non-commercial movements of dogs and cats, the establishment of lists of territories and third countries, and the requirements for the form, layout and language of declarations certifying compliance with certain conditions as laid down in Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (L 178).
(23) ‘National Register of Companion Animals (EMZS)’ means the online electronic database for the registration of companion animals under the name ‘National Register of Companion Animals’ maintained at the General Secretariat for Public Administration Information Systems (G.G.P.S.D.D.) of the Ministry. The EMZS includes the following sub-registries:
(a) Pet registry and tracking sub-registry.
(b) Philanthropic Societies and Organizations Sub-Register, in which all recognized and lawfully operating charitable societies and non-profit charitable organizations based in Greece or based in Member States of the European Union operating in Greece are registered.
(c) Animal Shelters Sub-Register, which shall include all pet shelters of the Sub-Register of (b) operated by municipalities, municipal associations and municipal partnerships, animal welfare societies and non-profit animal welfare organizations, as well as private animal lovers, provided that the animal shelters are licensed or comply with the requirements of Articles 28 and 29.
(d) Professional and Amateur Breeders Sub-Register, which includes professional and amateur breeders of dogs and cats.
(e) Panhellenic platform for the adoption of stray companion animals, where all stray animals for adoption are registered with name, photograph, description, adopter information, and other information.
(f) Sub-registry for voluntary pet blood donations, which includes pet owners who wish to voluntarily contribute to blood banks operated for animals and the pets they have available for voluntary blood donations.
(g) Storage location for passports distributed by the Panhellenic Veterinary Association to authorized veterinarians to provide to pet owners.
(24) ‘Offender Registry’ means the electronic registry maintained at the Athens Prosecutor’s Office, which is updated by local prosecutors and includes those who have been legally convicted of violating animal abandonment and abuse regulations. This registry cooperates with the EMCCS, and the offender’s registration in it precludes the possibility of registering him in the EMCCS as the owner or contractor of an animal or on behalf of a legal entity responsible for the welfare of an animal.
25. ‘Electronic book’: all data on the health status of the pet animal recorded in the EMZS. The electronic book replaces the animal’s health book.
(26) ‘Circus’ means the temporary outdoor facility, stage or tent where musical, dance, acrobatic or other related performances are performed for the entertainment of the people for profit.
(27) ‘Vaudeville troupe’ means a group of persons performing entertainment programs, shows, entertaining short comedy theatrical pieces, songs and dances with vaudeville content in a permanent or temporary facility for a fee and in a rotating order.
(28) ‘Non-commercial movement outside Greece’ means any movement of a pet animal outside Greece, accompanying its owner or the person authorized by the owner, is: (a) not intended to sell or otherwise transfer the animal; and (b) part of the movement of the owner of the pet animal, either under his direct responsibility or under the responsibility of an authorized person, if the pet animal is not with its owner. In the latter case, evidence shall be made available to the appropriate authorities to substantiate the appropriate movement of the owner.
Article 3 – Competent authorities
(1) Competent authority for establishing and monitoring the implementation of the rules on animal health, veterinary public health, monitoring of zoonotic diseases and zoonotic agents pursuant to p.d. 41/2006 (A’ 44) and Directive 2003/99/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17. November 2003 on the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents, amending Council Decision 90/424/EEC and repealing Council Directive 92/117/EEC (L 325) is the General Directorate of Veterinary Medicine of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, pursuant to Article 7 of p.d. 97/2017 (A’ 138).
(2) The competent authorities for the care, collection and management of stray domestic animals shall be the municipalities within whose administrative boundaries the stray animals are located, pursuant to Article 10. The municipalities shall have the following powers:
(a) To periodically prepare and submit for approval to the Division of Animal Welfare of the Directorate of Organization and Operation of the Municipal Government of the Ministry of the Interior an operational plan containing the measures necessary to fulfill the obligations of the municipalities hereby established for the purpose of the welfare and effective management of stray animals and the prevention of the emergence of new stray animals within the administrative boundaries of each municipality. Each operational program shall be accompanied by a budget of the individual resources necessary for its implementation, as well as a specific timetable for the implementation of each action.
(b) Collaborate with animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations registered in the EMZS, with the aim of, in particular: (a) the effective implementation of programs to collect and house stray domestic animals in appropriately configured shelters registered in the Sub-Register of Pet Shelters Article 2, paragraph 23, (b) the vaccination, sterilization and identification of stray animals, (c) the veterinary care of sick or injured stray pet animals, (d) the care of their adoption in Greece and abroad or their reintegration into familiar surroundings, and (e) the general implementation of all relevant measures for the purpose of achieving the objectives contained herein.
(c) To prepare and submit proposals for stray animal protection training programs for the informational and technical training needs of employees to the Department for the Protection of Domestic Animals of the Directorate of Organization and Operations of the Local Government of the Ministry of the Interior for approval employees of the Municipality.
(d) The planning and implementation of policies and programs that may contribute to the protection and welfare of companion animals, controlled and stray, the information and awareness of citizens on issues of responsible pet ownership, and the promotion of philanthropy in general.
(e) The submission of an annual report to the Division of Animal Welfare of the Directorate of Organization and Operation of the Local Government of the Ministry of the Interior on the progress of the implementation of the approved operational programs and measures, together with a report on the absorption of each fund. The funding of municipalities under Article 11 may depend on the evaluation of the implementation progress of the approved operational programs and general measures of each municipality.
(3) The competent authority for supervising the implementation of the operational programs for the collection and keeping of stray domestic animals and for preventing the emergence of new stray animals prepared by the municipalities pursuant to subsection (2) shall be the Domestic Animal Protection Department of the Directorate for Organization and Operation of Local Self-Government of the Ministry of the Interior, which shall be entrusted with the coordination of and responsibility for the general progress in the management of stray domestic animals by the municipalities. The Animal Welfare Division of the Directorate of Organization and Operation of Local Self-Government of the Ministry of the Interior shall specifically have the following responsibilities:
(a) To have overall responsibility for implementing government policy on pet care and stray animal management, supervising and coordinating municipal stray animal management programs, and establishing appropriate stray animal management practices and stray animal numbers.
(b) Ensure that municipal operational programs for the management of stray animals must include measures for:
(ba) The sterilization of stray animals,
(bb) the electronic tagging of stray animals and their registration in the EMZS,
(bc) the veterinary care of stray animals,
(bd) the collection of stray animals and their placement in shelters and foster homes,
(be) the adoption of stray animals,
(bf) the care and supervision of stray animals that have been vaccinated, sterilized, electronically tagged, and reintegrated into their home environment within the administrative boundaries of the municipality in which they were collected.
(4) Veterinarians who meet the requirements of Article 4(6) and (7) and have the following responsibilities shall be designated as the competent bodies for the identification and registration of pet animals and their owners in the EMZS:
(a) The identification of dogs and cats by appropriate means of electronic identification, the registration of the data of these animals and their owners in the EMZS, and the continuous updating of this register.
(b) The updating of the electronic companion animal record in accordance with Article 4(3).
(c) Issuing and signing a printed copy of the animal’s electronic booklet, in each case when required by the owner.
(d) Receiving canine and feline genetic material and shipping it to the Athens Academy Medical Biological Research Foundation Laboratory for storage and analysis of companion animal genetic material for all unsterilized animals.
(e) The issuance of an animal passport (identification document) of the pet animal in accordance with the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 577/2013 of 28 June 2013 on models of identification documents for non-commercial movements of dogs and cats and cats, the training lists of territories and third countries, and the form, order and language requirements of the declarations certifying compliance with certain conditions under Regulation (EU) 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, as well as the registration of the number passport at EMZS.
(f) take care to inform the owners in an appropriate manner about the obligations provided for in this Law.
(5) Competent authorities for the control of the application of the veterinary legislation on pet animals and the proper functioning of the system of identification and registration of pet animals and their owners are the veterinary services of the regions and regional units of the country and the competent services of the relevant municipality. These authorities shall have the following powers:
(a) To cooperate with the bodies that carry out the identification and registration of pet animals, to coordinate their actions, to provide technical instructions and assistance of all kinds for the complete and uniform application of electronic identification of dogs and cats.
(b) To control and supervise the entities that perform the identification and registration of pet animals.
(c) The periodic inspection of animal shelters where pet animals are kept, and after complaints have been filed, to determine whether animal welfare regulations and other conditions required by law are being met.
(6) The competent bodies for the control and verification of violations of Article 35 shall be the staff of the Hellenic Police, the Municipal Police, the National Transparency Authority, the Inter-agency Market Control Unit of Law 4712/2020 (A’ 146), the Forestry Service, the Customs, the Coast Guard, the competent services of the municipalities, the Ministry of the Interior, and the private gamekeepers of the hunting organizations recognized by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. For violations of paragraph 10(c) and Article 8(15) and Article 17(6), the competent inspection and certification bodies at the entry points of the country from countries outside the European Union are the customs authorities of the Independent Public Finance Office.
7. the competent authority for the creation, maintenance and management of the EMCS and the sub-registers contained therein shall be the General Secretariat for Public Administration Information Systems (G.G.P.S.D.D.) of the Ministry of Digital Governance, which shall cooperate with the Directorate of Cooperate Electronic Government of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, and with the Department for the Protection of Domestic Animals of the Directorate of Organization and Operation of Local Self-Government of the Ministry of the Interior.
8. the competent authority for matters concerning the armed forces’ livestock is the Ministry of National Defense.
CHAPTER II: National animal register and identification of pets
Article 4: National Registry of Companion Animals (NMZS)
(1) the Ministry of Digital Governance shall maintain an online electronic database for the identification and registration of dogs and cats and their owners called ‘National Register of Companion Animals (EMZS)’. EMZS can interact with all public sector registries as well as corresponding databases of other European Union Member States through G.G.P.S.D.D.’s Interoperability Center.
(2) certified users of EMZS are:
(a) Veterinarians for the registration of domestic animals and their owners. Their status is identified through interoperability with the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece (GEOTEE) registry. In this case, the persons must provide EMZS with their other identification data.
(b) The competent officials of the Panhellenic Veterinary Association.
(c) The competent officials of the Municipalities for the purposes of monitoring and implementation of the Stray Animal Management Program, the establishment of Controlled Animal Programs, and for the purposes of free registration and updating of the data of the citizens and their residents and the relevant changes of their.
(d) The competent officials of the General Directorate of Veterinary Medicine of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food.
(e) The relevant officials of the Animal Welfare Division of the Directorate of Organization and Operation of Local Self-Government of the Ministry of Interior.
(f) The competent officials of the inspection and certification bodies of the violations of paragraph 6 of Article 3.
(g) Veterinarians of the armed forces and security forces.
(h) The competent officials of the General Directorate of Forests and Environment of the Ministry of Environment and Energy.
(3) In the EMZS, the data on:
(a) In the identification of dogs and cats, such as. The unique electronic tagging code, identification document (animal passport), if issued, sex, color, breed, spay mark and date, or the mark and date of dispatch of the animal’s genetic material (DNA) to the laboratory for the storage and analysis of genetic material for pet animals in accordance with Article 13, the vaccinations and the date of each vaccination, the unique electronic identification code of the breeding female, if any, the results of laboratory tests and, in the case of a positive result of the leishmaniasis test, the titer of the antibodies, and any other communicable disease subject to notification in accordance with p. d. 41/2006(A’ 44), the loss or finding of a dominant dog or cat and the corresponding dates, death, date and cause of death. In addition, a photograph of the animal shall be registered, it shall be indicated whether the companion animal is an assistance dog, a working dog or a therapy animal, and any hereditary diseases that make reproduction dangerous for the animals themselves or their offspring shall be indicated and sterilization shall be required in all cases.
(b) In the identification of the owner or contractor of the pet, such as name, address, tax identification number (TIN), telephone number and ID number or passport or equivalent public document. The registration and processing of personal data of the above natural persons is carried out in accordance with Law 4624/2019(A’ 137) and Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (L 119). Exceptionally, this does NOT apply to therapy animals, animals used for breeding, breeding and trade in pets, assistance, guard, search and rescue dogs, and dogs used by armed forces, security forces and law enforcement agencies. It is possible for the Ministry of Finance to register in the EMZS on behalf of a legal entity. In this case, the person responsible for the welfare of the animal is the natural person designated by decision of the competent decision-making body and, if such a person has not been designated, the legal representative of the legal person. This person and his status are recorded in the identification document and in the EMZS, and the above-mentioned person is considered the owner of the animal with regard to the rights and obligations arising from this status.
(c) In the manner of obtaining the dominant animal (dog or cat). The change of ownership of a dominant companion animal and the finding of a stray (marked or unmarked) mixed-breed pet shall also be considered an acquisition opportunity.
(d) If it is a breeding animal, in addition to the breeder’s license number, the record of births per female breeding animal and the record of each offspring and its identification number.
(4) Stray dogs and cats are also registered in the EMZS, with all available information entered. Stray dogs and cats shall be marked with the word ‘stray’ and the details of the municipality in whose district they have been detected, or the animal welfare association or non-profit animal welfare organization, or the private individual who has a licensed shelter or animal sanctuary that complies with the requirements of Articles 28 and 29, as long as the animal is housed there. If the stray is housed with a sponsor, its data shall also be recorded.
(5) in addition to the elements of paragraph 3, the sub-registrations of paragraph 23 of Article 2 are created and operated in EMZS.
(6) The electronic identification, registration and issuance of an identification document of the pet animal shall be carried out by veterinarians certified in accordance with paragraph 7 and legally practicing the veterinary profession in Greece, as well as by voluntary veterinarians, nationals of Greece or of the Member States of the European Union, who temporarily and occasionally provide their veterinary services in Greece and who meet all the requirements to legally practice the profession of veterinary medicine in Greece and who must submit a declaration to this effect to the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece (GEOTEE). The veterinarian, when applying the electronic identification, shall ensure that all information entered into the EMZS is complete and accurately updated.
(7) Certification of veterinarians shall be done by electronic application and issuance of an access code to the requesting veterinarian to the EMZS. Certification of veterinarians of the regional units of the country and veterinarians serving or collaborating with municipalities is mandatory.
(8) In addition to the users of subsection (2), the classified shall have access to EMZS:
(a) The authorities, organs and institutions of Article 3, Paragraphs 1 through 6, to exercise the powers hereby conferred upon them.
(b) The owners of controlled animals using personal codes to inform them of all the data of their animals registered in EMZS, print a copy of the electronic book, as well as update their contact information. The same procedure may be used to report the loss or discovery of a dominant dog or cat, if applicable.
(9) In order to make the electronic identification or issue a passport, the person who is to be registered as the owner or sponsor of the controlled pet is required to provide to the certified veterinarian his police identification card or passport or other equivalent public document, the verification of the elements and their comparison with the unique marking code of the animal. A person under eighteen (18) years of age shall not be registered as the owner or sponsor of a controlled pet.
(10) The certified veterinarian performing the identification shall issue, free of charge, a certificate of electronic identification and registration to the owner or contractor of the animal, which shall include the animal’s identification number, characteristics (sex, color, breed), and owner’s information or contractor (name, address, telephone number, and number of identification card or passport or other equivalent public document). The certificate of electronic identification and registration is printed by EMZS.
(11) Filling in the passport information is also done by hand. The unique code of the electronic identification of the animal is written in the passport by hand or with the identification label (sticker) and must be stamped and signed by a veterinarian.
(12) Electronic identification of each dog and cat, their registration in the EMZS, as well as registration of any change are mandatory. The owner or guardian of the companion animal (dog or cat) is obliged to inform the veterinarian or the competent municipal official of any change in the data (such as name, address, telephone, identity) registered in the EMZS and concerning him/her (passport or other equivalent public document) or the companion animal (dog or cat) of which he/she is the owner or sponsor, at the latest within a period of ten (10) working days after the change. Exceptionally, the loss and the finding shall be reported within two (2) working days after the event in question. In the event of a change of ownership, the veterinarian shall update the EMZS and animal passport accordingly.
(13) The costs of identification and registration of domesticated pets shall be borne by the owner, in the case of strays by the competent municipality. Animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations, as well as owners or adopters of animals belonging to sensitive and vulnerable social groups, and owners of dogs used exclusively for guarding herds (shepherd dogs), may, if they so wish, identify, register, sterilize and vaccinate their pets free of charge in the municipal veterinary clinics or in the areas set up for this purpose in the municipalities, inter-municipal centers and veterinary services of the regions of the country, or at contracted veterinary service providers. The groups of the second paragraph include, in particular, people with disabilities, those with many children, those with three or more children, single parents, the unemployed, those on the O.A.E.D. registers and those living on the guaranteed minimum income. In addition, municipalities may provide free food and medicines to animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations with which they cooperate, as well as to contractors.
(14) Marking and identification of pets is carried out by attaching an electronic identification system (transponder) to the left outer side of the animal’s neck, which is a read-only passive radio frequency identification device in accordance with ISO 11784 and HDX or FDX-B technology, which can be read by a reader compatible with the ISO 11785 standard and registered in the EMZS. The suppliers of electronic identification means, retail or wholesale, are obliged to provide in the Greek market an electronic identification means in accordance with the above requirements, with instructions for use and in the Greek language. Animals originating from third countries and bearing an electronic tag that is not compatible with the ISO 11784 standard shall also be marked with a new compatible means.
(15) Veterinarians performing electronic tagging of pet animals shall be obliged to check the functionality of the electronic tagging means before applying it to the animal’s body and to use electronic tagging means that comply with the requirements of Paragraph 14. Complaints about the provision or use of electronic identification means that do not comply with the specifications of par. 14, the persons who possess or use them are obliged to provide the competent inspection and testing bodies of § 3 § 6 with full proof of their conformity (par. 14).
(16) If a stray animal registered in the EMZS has not given any sign of life, its disappearance shall be reported to the EMZS by the competent municipality. If the missing stray animal has not given any sign of life for a period of at least five (5) years from the date of registration of its disappearance in the EMZS, the death of the stray animal shall be declared and the following shall be recorded as the cause of death: ‘5+ years without sign of life’.
(17) For the identification of the owners of controlled pet animals bearing electronic identification, for the control of their passport and for the general control of compliance with the obligations herein, the municipalities, the regions and the competent bodies for the control and certification of violations of Section 3, paragraph 6, shall be equipped with the appropriate detectors at the expense of the competent institution or body.
(18) the Directorate of Electronic Management of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food shall assist G.G.P.S.D.D. of the Ministry of Digital Governance in all matters necessary for the implementation of the EMZS and cooperate in the transfer of data from the existing ‘Electronic Online Database’ containing the tagging codes, owners’ details and pets covered since the date of the assignment to maintain the ‘Electronic Online Database’ until the date of its transfer to G.G.P.S.D.D. of the Ministry of Digital Governance.
(19) Working dogs of the Armed Forces are exempted from registration in EMZS and are registered in a special register of working animals of the Armed Forces. Their registration in EMZS occurs only after they are discharged from military service for any reason and adopted by members of the Armed Forces as companion animals.
Article 5 – Identification document (animal passport)
(1) The passport issued in accordance with Part I of Annex III to Implementing Regulation (EU) 577/2013 is the only identification document for dogs and cats. The health booklets issued before the entry into force shall remain valid.
(2) The passport is issued by an authorized veterinarian with an exclusively natural person as beneficiary after:
(a) the veterinarian verifies that the pet animal bears the required identification; and
(b) the veterinarian properly completes Sections I through IV and seals Section III with a clear adhesive sheet. Section V of the passport shall be completed only when the animal has reached the minimum age at which rabies vaccination may be administered. In this case, each rabies vaccination shall be covered with a transparent adhesive foil.
(3) The authorized veterinarian issuing the passport shall inform EMZS accordingly.
(4) Passports shall be issued by name after notifying the Panhellenic Veterinary Association and shall not be transferred to another natural person. In the event that the passport is issued to a stray, the owner shall be listed as: (a) the natural person referred to in Article 40; or (b) the sponsor of the animal; or (c) the person in charge of the shelter or the animal welfare association or nonprofit animal welfare organization.
(5) The Panhellenic Veterinary Association distributes blank passports only to approved veterinarians and is obliged to inform the passport archive of the EMZS of the name and contact details of the approved veterinarians, indicating the number of passports and the date of issue.
(6) In particular, a passport is issued to the service dogs of the Armed Forces only when their departure is necessary.
Article 6 – Identification of pets
(1) The bodies for control and confirmation of violations of Article 3, paragraph 6, as well as the judicial authorities, may require the Laboratory for the Preservation and Analysis of Genetic Material of Pets (EFAGYZS) to identify the parents of pets: for unmarked pets that have been abandoned, mistreated, found dead, or whenever deemed necessary, especially to identify violations of applicable laws.
(2) In case of identification of producers of unmarked pets, the criminal and administrative sanctions of Articles 34 and 35 shall be imposed on the owner of the producer.
CHAPTER III – Adoption of stray pets
CREATION OF A PAN-HELLENIC PLATFORM FOR THE ADOPTION OF STRAY PETS.
Article 7 – Adoption of stray pets: Creation of a panhellenic platform for the adoption of stray pets
(1) For the purpose of carrying out adoptions, a panhellenic platform for the adoption of stray companion animals is created and operated at EMZS. Each animal for adoption will be listed on this platform with its name, photo, detailed description, identification number (microchip), age, sex, data of the person in charge of the municipality or the animal welfare association or an unregistered commercial non-profit organization or the shelter that provides for its adoption, or the contractor if the contractor so wishes, along with links to other websites or public pages in social media with additional details about the specific animal and other information.
(2) Adults living in Greece adopt stray animals from a shelter (municipal or inter-municipal or animal welfare associations or non-profit organizations or private animal lovers) or living in a foster home by entering into a corresponding adoption contract with the person whose details have been registered in EMZS for the specific stray animal. Upon completion of the adoption, the above-mentioned persons will immediately take care of updating the data in EMZS. It is also allowed to adopt a stray mongrel animal, marked or not, collected by an interested party. For this purpose, the interested party shall ensure the immediate marking of the animal in his name, if it is not marked, otherwise the change of the animal’s data in EMZS.
(3) For the purpose of responsible adoption of a stray animal abroad, municipalities as well as animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations registered in the EMZS may cooperate with corresponding associations and organizations located in other states. In the case of adoption of a stray pet animal by an interested new owner, a natural person or an animal welfare association that does not have a permanent residence in Greece or does not have its registered office in Greece, adoption in Greece is carried out by concluding an adoption contract and handing over the animal to an interested new owner or to his legal representative or his lawyer and the power of attorney, which is evidenced by a document with a specific date. The person responsible for the adoption of an animal abroad shall ensure that the EMZS is informed, indicating the adoption and the country of destination. For the adoption of an animal abroad placed in a shelter, it requires the issuance of a certificate through the TRACES system compliance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/429 and Regulation (EU) 2019/2035. The place of origin of the animal is indicated by the shelter headquarters. When an animal is adopted abroad and placed in a foster home, the certificate issued through the TRACES system shall indicate the animal’s place of origin as its residential address. The payment of any consideration for the performance of adoptions, except for the cost of transporting the animal and any costs of feeding and medical care, is prohibited.
CHAPTER IV – BREEDING AND TRADE OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS
Article 8 – Breeding, rearing and trade of domestic animals
(1) Pet animal breeding, rearing and marketing establishments shall be established and operated in accordance with Article 3 of Law 4711/2020 (A’ 145), shall have a suitable habitat, shall meet the minimum requirements of Regulation (EU) 2019/2035 the Commission of 28 June 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down requirements for holdings for terrestrial animals and hatcheries and the traceability of certain terrestrial animals kept and hatching eggs (L 314 ), and with No. 604/1977 (A’ 163) and the p.d. 463/1978(A’ 96) and comply with all rules of welfare, safety and provision of adequate veterinary care. In particular, establishments that breed, raise and trade dogs and cats must also be registered in the EMZS sub-register of professional and amateur breeders.
(2) Bred, reproduced or for sale dogs and cats have an updated electronic health book and passport, are compulsorily marked and registered in the EMZS.
(3) Hobby breeders may breed up to two (2) femal dogs or cats one (1) time per year. For each litter, they shall obtain a prior license from the Kennel Club of Greece or the Association of Amateur Dog Breeders of Greece (if it is a dog) or from the Hellenic Cat Club or the Association of Cat Breeders of Greece (if it is a cat). A condition for the issuance of the license is the control, as the case may be, by the Kennel Club of Greece or the Association of Amateur Dog Breeders of Greece or the Hellenic Cat Club or the Association of Cat Breeders of Greece regarding the course of pre-birth required by the hobby breeder in particular, regarding the care and attention of newborns in general.
(4) Dog or cat owners may reproduce the pet once (1) in its life. For this purpose, they shall obtain prior authorization from the Committee of Article 10(8), which they must also inform about the course of birth in particular and care of newborns in general.
(5) The restrictions of paragraphs 3 and 4 shall not apply to professional breeders and to service dogs of the armed forces.
(6) Breeders shall keep records of each female breeding animal in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/2035. Female breeding animals shall be registered in the EMZS with the indication Breeding Animal.
(7) Breeding females shall not be inseminated before the second oestrus cycle and in no case before the expiration of nine (9) months since the last litter.
(8) It is forbidden to reproduce the domestic animal after the age of nine, as well as to reproduce the same domestic animal more than six (6) times in its whole life.
(9) Pets shall not be selected for breeding whose anatomical, physiological or behavioral characteristics, depending on the species and breed, may prove harmful to the health and well-being of the female reproductive mate and offspring.
(a) The sale of dogs and cats in outdoor public places, including flea markets.
(b) The sale of domestic animals less than twelve (12) weeks of age.
(c) The importation, marketing, and breeding of mutilated dogs.
(d) The exhibition of dogs and cats in pet stores.
(e) The sale of dogs and cats from online stores, unless they are lawfully operating pet breeding, breeding and trading businesses.
(11) Online, print or other ‘mating’ advertising for pets is prohibited.
(12) Ads or advertisements for the sale of dogs and cats in forms, brochures, wall stickers, websites or social media are allowed only by the persons mentioned in paragraph 1, with mandatory mention of the animal’s identification number, date and place, birth and place of residence of the animal, sex, breed, price of the animal, its vaccinations and deworming, breeder’s license number and contact details of the seller (name and surname, telephone number, e-mail address). If the ad is for a purebred companion animal, the pedigree certificate must also be included.
(13) Ads for the adoption of dogs and cats are allowed only if they are provided with the hyperlink of the adoption, which knows on the Panhellenic Platform for the adoption of stray pets.
(14) In order to promote responsible behavior, the following warning will be placed in any advertisement or display: ‘An animal is not a toy. You should know that buying or adopting an animal is a life-changing decision. As a pet owner, you are legally obligated to ensure that all of its welfare needs are met. Otherwise, you are committing a criminal offense.’
(15) It is prohibited to import dogs and cats into Greece that do not have an electronic tag or come from establishments that do not meet the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2019/2035. The identification data of the imported animals (identification code and name of the importer) from countries outside the European Union will be recorded at the entry points in Greece and the EMZS will be informed directly.
(16) Subject to (7), (8) and (9), working dog breeding programs of the Armed Forces are not subject to approval, supervision and control.
CHAPTER V – DUTIES OF A PET OWNER
Article 9 – Duties of a pet owner
(1) The pet owner shall:
(a) sterilize his controlled pet, if it is a dog or a cat, within six (6) months from the date of acquisition, if the animal is older than one (1) year. In the case of the acquisition of an animal under one (1) year of age, the sterilization shall be carried out within the first six (6) months after the completion of the first (1) year of age. The period of the preceding paragraphs may vary depending on the breed of the animal and its other particular characteristics, after a detailed veterinary opinion. Sterilization shall not be mandatory for animals for which a sample of genetic material (DNA) has been sent to the OTO Laboratory for the storage and analysis of genetic material for domestic animals in accordance with Article 13.
In the event that the pet owner fails to sterilize his pet or fails to send a sample of genetic material (DNA) to the Laboratory for Storage and Analysis of Pet Genetic Material, the fine of Article 35 shall be imposed and the owner shall be given a period of three months to perform sterilization or to send a sample of the pet genetic material. If this deadline is also missed, the fine shall be imposed again.
The obligation of the owner to sterilize the dominant pet or send a sample of its genetic material (DNA) shall commence on 1.3.2022. The fines under Article 35 for violation of the above obligation shall be imposed from 1.9.2022. For service dogs of the Armed Forces, exceptionally, there is no obligation to neuter.
(b) To identify and register its animal in the EMZS, if it is a dog or cat, before the animal leaves its place of birth and in any case within a period of two (2) months after its birth any other case of acquisition within the time limit of paragraph 12 of Article 4.
(c) Comply with the time limits of paragraph 12 of Article 4 for the notification of the EMZS in any case in which it is necessary to register or change information about him or his pet, if it is a dog or cat.
(d) To take care of the annual vaccination of the pet, if provided, and of its veterinary examination, as evidenced by the electronic health book or the passport of the pet, if available.
(e) Compliance with the rules for the welfare of the pet, care for the necessary veterinary care, provision of comfortable, healthy and suitable housing adapted to the natural way of life of the animal, allowing the stay its natural position, without hindering its natural movements and the ability to perform the exercises necessary for its health and well-being.
(f) To obtain the passport of his animal when he travels abroad with it, and to ensure that it is updated in case the information on the owner or the animal changes.
(g) Not to abandon his companion animal.
In the event that he wishes to get rid of it and has not found a new owner, he is obliged to notify his intention to the competent service of the Municipality of the place of his permanent residence, to be instructed by the Municipality for a period of two (2) months to be placed for adoption on the Panhellenic Stray Adoption Platform Pets, if it is a dog or a cat. Subsequently, and if no new owner is found, hand it over exclusively to the competent department of that municipality, signing a declaration to that effect and paying an amount of three hundred (300) euros for its delivery if it is a dog, or one hundred (100) euros if it is a cat or other pet. Specifically for dogs and cats, the certified employee of the Municipality shall immediately ensure that EMZS is informed of this change and the registration of the animal as a stray with the Municipality. An owner wants to get rid of his or her pet and surrenders it to the Municipality shall be deprived of the opportunity to acquire another pet for a period of three (3) years.
(h) To provide for the prompt cleaning of the surrounding area of the feces of the companion animal, unless the companion animal is an assistance, search and rescue dog in the performance of its duties, a hunting dog, or a herding dog in the performance of its duties.
(i) To ensure that the minimum needs of the animal are met and that the animal has sufficient contact with the same or another human to prevent loneliness and to maintain its mental health, and to provide for its training, if necessary.
(j) Not to cut the ears or tail of the animal unless there is a medical reason. The cutting of a small portion of a cat’s ear by a veterinarian after neutering is permitted.
(k) In all cases, ensure that the companion animal enjoys the five freedoms listed in Article 2(2).
(2) The owner or sponsor of a domestic animal shall be liable for any damage caused by the animal in accordance with Article 924 of the Civil Code (p.d. 456/1984, A 164). For stray pets that are not placed in a foster home, the corresponding responsibility lies with the person who has been registered for the respective animal in the EMZS (municipality or animal welfare association or non-profit animal welfare association or private person who is the owner shelter), if they have not fulfilled their obligations under this law and in particular if they have not sterilized these animals, unless civil compensation is paid for the damage or loss, which has been assumed by another entity, such as an insurance company. For unmarked stray pets, liability rests with the municipality within whose boundaries the damage or injury occurred.
(3) In addition to the duties of paragraphs (1) and (2), the dog owner shall:
(a) Ensure that the dog is always walked with an escort.
(b) Take appropriate measures to ensure that his dog does not leave the premises of his property unattended and enter the premises of other properties or public areas.
(c) To prevent accidents, he shall keep his dog on a leash and at a short distance from him during the walk. The same obligation applies to any companion of the animal. This obligation does not apply to the movement of the dog within animal parks.
(d) He must ensure that his dog is not tethered permanently and in any case not for more than two (2) hours per day on his property, even if the chain or rope is long. In exceptional cases and if the property is not fenced, the use of an underground electric fence is allowed.
(e) If the dog is permanently in the yard or other outdoor area, it must be provided with a shelter for resting that is cool and shaded in the summer and adequately protected from cold and wind in the winter. The shelter shall be protected from rain, snow and standing water. Since the dog lives outside, this area must be cleaned regularly.
(f) Shall ensure that the dog has adequate access to a yard or other outdoor space so that the dog has the exercise and exercise opportunity appropriate to its breed and age.
(4) In addition to the duties under subsections (1) and (2), the owner of a cat shall also ensure that the cat does not live in a cage.
(5) Removal of the electronic tag by the owner of the pet animal or by another person or by a veterinarian is prohibited without a veterinary opinion confirming the necessity of removal or an order of a competent prosecutor. At each booster vaccination visit to the veterinarian, the function of the electronic tag shall be checked and a new one installed if it does not function.
(6) The owner of a hunting dog is obliged to carry the passport of his dog or a printed copy of the electronic book for this purpose during hunting or any other movement with his dog. The obligations of paragraphs a’, b’ and c’ of subsection 3 do not apply to assistance dogs, as well as guard dogs, hunting dogs and search and rescue dogs in use, hunting, training and search and rescue respectively.
(7) The hunting license shall be revoked for two (2) years from a hunter whose dog used for hunting has not been marked, registered in the EMZS and sterilized or for which a genetic material sample has not been sent to the Animal Genetic Material Store and Analysis Laboratory (supplement to Art. 13). Likewise, the hunting license shall be definitively revoked if the hunter has abandoned animals in his possession or their direct offspring. The means of transport of the hunting dog must be suitable, with sufficient space, lighting and ventilation and meet the physiological needs of the animal.
(8) The obligations of this article shall also be borne by the animal sponsor. The care ends either when the animal is taken over or when it is returned to the municipality or the animal welfare association or the non-profit animal welfare organization with which the sponsor has concluded a contract, if any.
CHAPTER VI – RESPONSIBILITIES, DUTIES AND FINANCING OF MUNICIPALITIES – ARGOS PROGRAM
Article 10 – Responsibilities and obligations of the municipalities
(1) Municipalities shall be required to have an integrated operational program for the management of stray animals, as referred to in Article 3, paragraph 2, which shall include, for at least twelve months: (a) collection, (b) provision of veterinary care, (c) electronic identification and registration in the EMZS, (d) sterilization, (e) finding a contractor, and (f) their adoption. This authority may also be exercised by municipal associations and inter-municipal partnerships. In addition, municipalities are required to serve citizens and owners of controlled pets in administrative acts related to the EMZS, as well as to assist programs to prevent the creation of new stray animals.
(2) The Municipality may, upon resolution of the Municipal Council, cooperate for the purposes of paragraph 1 by entering into a written agreement to this effect with animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations based in Greece or in another EU Member State (as registered in the Sub-Register of Philanthropic Associations and Organizations of the EMZS). Actions carried out by animal welfare associations and charitable animal welfare organizations on the basis of appropriate contracts with municipalities may include the issuance of the documents required for the implementation of the adoption, in accordance with Article 7. Animal welfare associations and charitable organizations are included in the operational program of each municipality.
(3) Each municipality or cooperating municipalities or associations of municipalities shall establish and operate municipal or inter-municipal veterinary clinics, animal shelters and crematoria for private premises or private property leased or granted by the State, the Region or the County. It shall be the duty of each municipality to take all necessary steps to adequately meet the needs of hospitality, temporary shelter, care, and general nurturing of stray domestic animals, either through the establishment and operation of at least one (1) animal shelter by the municipality itself or through cooperation with other municipalities or as a member of a municipal association, or through systematic cooperation with animal welfare societies or nonprofit animal welfare organizations that are registered with the EMZS and have – or do not have but intend to have – licensed animal shelters or animal shelters that meet the requirements of Articles 28 and 29. The cost of housing and caring for animals in other legally established and operated habitats, such as animal shelters, shall be borne by the municipality. The obligation of the preceding paragraph shall not apply to municipalities with less than three thousand (3,000) inhabitants.
(4) For the implementation of the stray animal management program, municipalities must ensure the effective provision of the required veterinary services throughout the year by suitable natural or legal persons or by resorting to the allocation procedures of Law 4412/2016 (A’) (147) or by entering into project lease agreements pursuant to Article 6 of Law 2527/1997 (A’ 206). Following the same procedures, municipalities may conclude contracts with natural or legal persons for the provision of stavlite services, as well as for the provision of cleaning and guarding services for the shelters they operate. The project leases included herein are not included in the maximum number of project leases allowed under Article 89 of Law 4604/2019 (A’ 50).
(5) The management of stray pets by municipalities shall be implemented as follows:
(a) Stray pets shall be picked up by persons who are properly trained and experienced in pet capture. To this end, each municipality shall have at least one (1) specially configured collection vehicle. Municipalities and the National Center for Public Administration and Self-Government may establish training programs for municipal personnel with certified trainers. Collection crews for stray pet animals shall be supervised with respect to acceptable capture methods by a veterinarian from the appropriate municipal veterinary service and, if not established, by a veterinarian from the appropriate county department.
(b) Animals caught straying in public places shall be checked for electronic identification.
(ba) If unmarked, they are automatically considered strays and:
(baa) They are taken to the municipal veterinary clinics or to veterinary clinics cooperating with the municipality, veterinarily examined, sterilized, dewormed, vaccinated, marked with an electronic tag and registered in the EMZS in accordance with the provisions as strays (of paragraph 4 of Article 4).
(bac) If by veterinary examination they are found to be injured or suffering from a curable disease, they shall be subjected to appropriate treatment.
(bad) If it is determined by the veterinary examination that they are dangerous domestic animals, or that they are suffering from an incurable disease, or that they are totally incapable of self-preservation due to old age or infirmity, and their living conditions are obviously contrary to this (rules of their welfare), they shall be euthanized in accordance with the opinion of the Committee of Paragraph 8 and the procedure of Paragraph 9.
(bac) After providing the necessary veterinary care and treatment, if no adopter can be found, the collected pets shall be bartered to the available animal shelters, municipal, inter-municipal or animal shelters of animal welfare societies and non-profit organizations or private animal lovers, with the aim of complying with the provisions of Article 7.
(bad) If there are no places available in animal shelters, the animal shall be returned to its familiar environment and to the areas defined by the decision of paragraph 5 of Article 45, provided that it is sterilized. An animal that is in a shelter and is not adopted after a continuous stay of three months there and posting on the Panhellenic Platform for the Adoption of Stray Companion Animals, may be released to the familiar environment and areas defined by the decision of Paragraph 5 of Article 45, after the decision of the Committee of Paragraph 8, provided that it is sterilized. It is not allowed to release stray animals around hospitals, schools, sports centers, facilities of the armed forces and security forces, expressways, exit and boarding areas of coastal transportation.
In any case, animals under five (5) months of age shall not be reintegrated into their usual environment and shall be given priority for adoption.
(bb) If they are tagged, from which it follows that they are already registered as a stray with the municipality, then the animal’s tracking information will be updated. As long as the animal has no clinical problems, it will be released in the same location, unless restrictions (bad) indicate otherwise – then it will be released to another suitable location.
(b) If they have tags indicating they have an owner, a check is made to see if the animal has been reported lost. If so, the owner will be notified to pick it up. If there is no report of loss, it will be checked if there is a case of abandonment and the Hellenic Police will be informed.
(c) The responsibility for the care of the reintegrated street animals lies with the municipalities, which must create food and water supply points for these animals, as well as the animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations cooperating with the municipalities. The provision of food, water and medical care to stray domestic animals by animal-loving citizens is permitted, provided that the rules of cleanliness and hygiene for all and the rules of animal welfare are observed.
(d) The stray collection team of the competent municipality shall also take care of the active management of registered strays living outside the shelter, such as their transport for the purpose of annual veterinary examination and rabies vaccination, intervention in case of formation of an aggressive pack, administration of medication and updating their registration.
(6) The collection and sheltering of stray animals is also allowed by animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations registered in the relevant sub-register of Section 23 of Article 2, as well as by private animal lovers who have licensed animal shelters or animal shelters that comply with the requirements of Articles 28 and 29. In this case, the animals are registered in the EMZS as ‘stray animals’ with the details of the above-mentioned association or organization or the private animal lover who has a shelter that takes care of them. Their adoption in accordance with Article 7 is permissible. Also permissible is the surrender of stray animals by animal-loving individuals to a municipal veterinary clinic or a veterinary clinic with which the municipality has a contract to apply the procedure under paragraph 5b, or to a veterinary clinic not contracted by the municipality, if the private individual wishes to bear the corresponding costs (exclusively for veterinary care).
(7) The sterilization of stray domestic animals, as well as the identification, registration and other medical procedures for their care, may also be carried out free of charge by volunteer professional veterinarians who hold Greek citizenship or the citizenship of another member state of the European Union and who have requirements to legally practice the profession of veterinary medicine in Greece, with a declaration to that effect to the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece (GEOTEE). For the sterilization, identification and registration of street animals by veterinarians working on a voluntary basis, the facilities of the veterinary clinics of the competent veterinary services of the respective region may be made available, of a regional unit or of the municipality or of other areas belonging to the region or municipality in question or to associations of municipalities, under the supervision of the competent services of the municipalities. For the same purpose, the premises of private veterinary clinics may be made available.
(8) A five-member monitoring committee of the operational program for the management of stray domestic animals and the prevention of the emergence of new stray animals shall be established in each municipality by decision of the mayor. The committee shall include:
(a) Two (2) members nominated by animal welfare associations and nonprofit animal welfare organizations registered in the sub-registry of philanthropic associations and organizations (Section 23 of Article 2) and operating in the municipality.
(b) One (1) veterinarian designated by the municipality concerned, who shall preferably be the person in charge of the stray management program, and in his absence, another private veterinarian.
(c) One (1) professional trainer, a member of a legally recognized professional association of dog trainers, and, in the absence of such, a trained employee of the applicable municipality.
(d) One (1) representative designated by the appropriate municipality, with his or her alternate.
(9) The committee under subsection (8) shall have the following duties:
(a) Decides on the dangerousness of a domestic animal and on the need to euthanize a stray domestic animal upon the opinion of a veterinarian.
(b) Recommends to the appropriate departments of the municipality ways to deal with problems that arise during the management of stray animals.
(c) Issues the permit of paragraph 4 of Article 8.
(d) Prepares an annual report to the Municipal Council on the progress made in implementing the operational program for the management of stray animals of the Municipality and formulates proposals for its improvement.
(10) In the event of disagreement within the committee under subsection (8) as to the dangerousness of a stray domestic animal or the need for euthanasia, the final decision shall be made by a special scientific committee. This shall be established in each municipality by resolution of the mayor and shall consist of:
(a) One (1) veterinarian of the veterinary service of the competent regional unit with his deputy.
(b) One (1) private veterinarian legally practicing in Greece and operating within the jurisdiction of the municipality or a neighboring municipality, with his deputy.
(c) One (1) veterinarian legally practicing in Greece and working with an animal welfare association or nonprofit animal welfare organization operating within the jurisdiction of the municipality or a neighboring municipality, with his or her alternate.
In the case of an aggressive animal whose aggression is not due to pathological causes, the Municipality may seek the opinion of a professional dog trainer who is a member of a legally recognized professional association of dog trainers.
(11) Euthanasia decisions shall be published on the Panhellenic Stray Animal Adoption Platform and on the website of the competent municipality for a period of at least thirty (30) days prior to their implementation. The thirty (30) day period need not be observed if there are veterinary reasons for immediate euthanasia after approval by the Committee of paragraph 8.
(12) For the implementation of the operational program for the management of stray animals and the prevention of the emergence of new stray animals, the municipality may enter into a program contract pursuant to Article 100 of Act 3852/2010 (A’ 87) and with development organization pursuant to Article 2 of Act 4674/2020 (A’ 53) or with networks of municipalities and regions pursuant to the written provisions.
(13) Municipalities may not impose special municipal fees related to the keeping of domestic animals.
(14) Municipalities shall comply with the obligations of this Article within six (6) months of its publication.
Article 11 – Municipal financing of the ARGOS program
(1) a special financial program called “Argos” is established.
(2) The aim of the program is to finance municipalities for the implementation of the operational programs of Article 10 and individual measures herein, to provide the necessary equipment and vehicles, to finance registration, sterilization and vaccination programs, as well as the creation of animal shelters, veterinary clinics, crematoriums and fenced dog parks, covering the costs of contracts with veterinarians as well as with all other personnel necessary for their implementation.
(3) The program will be subsidized by the special financial programs of Articles 69 and 71 of Law 4509/2017 (A’ 201), as well as by other funds of the Ministry of Interior.
Article 12 – Incentives for the marking, neutering and adoption of dogs and cats
Municipalities may, by resolution of the Municipal Council, establish incentives to encourage the marking and registration of dogs and cats in the EMZS, their sterilization, as well as the adoption of street animals, either: a) through legal decrees (‘vouchers’) to citizens or their residents, or other similar incentives; or b) through a reduction in municipal fees per year by a maximum percentage of up to ten percent (10%) for the owners of sterilized, marked and registered animals in the EMZS.
CHAPTER VII – ESTABLISHMENT OF A LABORATORY FOR THE STORAGE AND ANALYSIS OF HEREDITARY MATERIAL FROM DOMESTIC ANIMALS AT THE MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Note: according to expert advice from my veterinarian, the database for genetic material has not yet been established at the time of completion of this translation (December 2022) and therefore cannot be collected and submitted.
Article 13 – Establishment of a laboratory for the preservation and analysis of genetic material from domestic animals at the Medical Biological Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens
(1) The Laboratory for the Storage and Analysis of Genetic Material of Companion Animals (EFA-YZSS), belonging to the Hellenic Centre for Genomics, is recommended to the Institute of Medical Biological Research of the Academy of Athens (IIVEAA).
(2) The purpose of EFAGYZS is to collect, store, process and analyze genetic material of companion animals and in particular dogs and cats, to cooperate with all relevant agencies to promote their welfare and to cooperate with Section 3 control agencies to identify parents of abandoned, dead or abused animals.
(3) EFAGYZS may collaborate with certified research centers in Greece or abroad to achieve its goals.
(4) For the establishment and start-up of the operation of EFA-GYZS, the IIVEAA will receive a one-time grant from the state budget of up to two million euros (€2,000,000).
Article 14 – Obtaining genetic material from pets
(1) A dog or cat owner who does not wish to sterilize his pet is obliged to send a sample of the pet’s genetic material to EFAGYZS as of 1.3.2022. The collection of a genetic sample and its shipment to EEGYZS shall be performed only by a veterinarian who is a member of the Panhellenic Veterinary Association.
(2) In order to obtain, register and keep the genetic material for at least twelve (12) years, a one-time electronic fee of one hundred and fifty (150) Euros per companion animal will be charged to the owner of the companion animal. The owner shall also be required to reimburse the veterinarian for the cost of sending the genetic sample, which in no case shall exceed ten (10) euros. The owners of dogs used exclusively for guarding herds (shepherd dogs) are exempt from the obligation to pay the fee.
(3) The amount of the electronic fee for other animals, as well as for services other than those mentioned above, may be determined by a resolution of the Board of Directors of the IIVEA-AA, which shall be published in the Official Gazette.
(4) Forty percent (40%) of the fee shall go to IIVEAA to cover the running costs of EFAGYSS, ten percent (10%) to the veterinarian who received the genetic material, and fifty percent (50%) to the Department of the Interior to the municipalities to support actions for the welfare of stray pets.
CHAPTER VIII – KEEPING AND MOVING PETS
Article 15 – Keeping pets in apartments
(1) It is allowed to keep controlled pets in any apartment, in accordance with the definitions in par. 2, 3 and 4.
(2) in multi-family dwellings consisting of at least two (2) apartments, the keeping of dominant pets is permitted if:
(a) They reside in the same dwelling unit as the owner or the owner’s contractor, or reside by unanimous vote of the general assembly of owners in common areas of the multifamily building, presumably in the basement or on the roof, in the open space and in the garden, and as long as the rules of welfare, health regulations and police regulations on common peace are respected.
(b) They do not permanently stay on the terraces or in the open spaces of the dwelling.
(c) Staying in the apartments of multifamily buildings is subject to compliance with the rules of welfare, health regulations and police order to the common peace.
(d) If they are dogs or cats, they are identified, registered and keep current data in the EMZS, including the electronic book of the animal.
(3) The keeping of pets may not be prohibited by the housing ordinance, provided that the requirements of subsection (2) are met. The ordinance may limit the maximum number of animals allowed to up to three (3) animals per dwelling unit. Amendments to the residential building code regarding the maximum number of animals allowed per dwelling shall become effective upon the expiration of twelve (12) months from the date of their enactment.
(4) Single-family dwellings shall be permitted to keep labeled and lawfully registered pet animals (current data in the EMZS; no numerical limit/translator’s note), provided that the rules of good animal handling and welfare are also complied with, as well as applicable health regulations and police regulations on common peace.
(5) The numerical restrictions of paragraph 3 apply only to dogs and cats. In any case, with regard to other domestic animals, the rules of good animal welfare, the health regulations in force and the police regulations on common peace shall be respected.
Article 16 – Keeping animals in special facilities
Animals may be kept in:
(a) The lawful operation of zoos and exhibitions;
(c) Wildlife care centers and lawfully operated places for the temporary or permanent housing of wildlife species that are derived from care and cannot be released into the natural environment,
(d) Wildlife farms and exhibits for the development and promotion of livestock and agriculture subject to special regulations,
(e) Military dog facilities in units of the armed forces; and
(f) any lawfully operated establishment in which the keeping of animals is permitted, provided that no performances, of any kind, involving animals of any kind are held in the aforementioned premises.
Article 17 – Moving and transport of domestic animals (dogs and cats)
(1) Non-commercial movement of pet animals (dogs and cats) from one member state of the European Union to another or from a territory or a third country to a member state of the European Union shall be subject to the provisions of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on the non-commercial movement of pet animals and repealing Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 (L 178), and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 577/2013 of 28 June 2013 for the models of identification documents on the non-commercial movement of dogs, cats and felines, the establishment of lists of territories and third countries and the format, layout and language requirements of declarations certifying compliance with certain conditions pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
(2) Commercial movement of dogs and cats from an EU Member State or a third country is subject to the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on contagious animal diseases and for the amendment and repeal of certain acts in the field of animal health (L 84) and Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and amending Directives 64/432 /EEC and 93/ 119/ EC and Regulation (EC) No 1255/97 (L 3).
(3) Dogs and cats moving within the country must be vaccinated against rabies before moving. It is forbidden to transport animals that have not been vaccinated against the rabies virus, unless there are serious health reasons according to the opinion of a certified veterinarian. The minimum age at which the animal can be vaccinated against the rabies virus is twelve (12) weeks.
(4) Small domestic animals (up to 10 kg/note by the translator) may be transported in all road, rail and track-bound public transport, as well as cabs and passenger ships, provided that the animals are placed in a secure transport cage and accompanied by their owner or keeper. Assistance dogs, provided they are leashed, may be transported on the means of transport without a transport cage and without a muzzle, regardless of their size.
(5) Paragraph 4 does not apply to movements or shipments to and from veterinary clinics, veterinarians and animal shelters within the territory.
(6) It is forbidden to transport pets in the luggage area of KTEL buses, tourist buses and other buses. For the purposes of Article 35(1), both the owner of the animal and the owner and driver of the means of transport shall be guilty of the offense, unless the owner or driver of the means of transport was not in a position to know of the commission of the offense.
Article 18 – Transport of pets on passenger ships
(1) The regular passenger ships, which, in order to meet the transport needs of the entire route of categories I, II, III and IV of p.d. 44/2011(A’ 110), comply with regulations for the accommodation and determination of the number of passengers on passenger ships, are required to carry cages for the stay of large domestic animals accompanied by passengers on the ships. The cages shall be placed in a suitable location at the discretion of the ship’s captain, preferably protected from extreme weather conditions. The available cages on the vessel are of various sizes and are suitable for accommodating large animals. The numerical carrying capacity of the obligated vessels for large animals shall be determined on the basis of the number of available cages and the number of cages on the vessel shall be calculated in relation to the passengers carried in the ratio of 1/200, i.e. one (1) cage per two hundred (200) passengers carried.
(2) It is forbidden to allow large pets to stay in the closed passenger staging areas and the closed vehicle parking areas.
(3) It is allowed to place cages for large pets on the open passenger decks and in the open vehicle stowage areas in appropriate places according to paragraph 1 (natural ventilation in its metal structure).
(4) Movement of a companion animal on the passenger decks of the vessel is allowed only with a harness/leash under the supervision and responsibility of its companion.
(5) The liner passenger ships of par. 1 may have special cabins where the pet can spend the night with its companion [pet-cabins], which must be described in the general layout plan of the ship. Updating the general layout plans of vessels to possibly include such cabins may be done as part of the annual inspection of the vessel and is not grounds for issuance of a retrofit permit. For a cabin to be classified as a pet cabin, it must have, at a minimum, a washable floor, padding, and mattress cover in addition to the other requirements of the Passenger Accommodation Regulations. After each stay of a passenger with his/her pet in a pet cabin (pet-cabin), its cover (bedding) shall be replaced. The above-mentioned cabins are used only as pet cabins and are not available for any purpose other than the one they serve. Any damage caused by the pet to any furnishings or clothing in the cabin shall be the responsibility of the pet owner.
(6) The owner of a pet animal shall carry the appropriate health and vaccination certificates of the animal.
(7) The shipping companies or owners of vessels required to install large animal cages shall, within one (1) year from the effective date of this Act, integrate into the passenger reservation and ticketing system of the vessels covered by it, and their administration shall mark an appropriate data collection field – marking the health book or passport of the pet to be transported, depending on the number of cages available.
(8) Search and rescue dogs, dogs of the Armed Forces, security agencies and law enforcement agencies of the A.A.D.E. and the Ministry of Finance may accompany their owners in all public open and closed areas of the vessel, provided they have the appropriate certificates proving their status, good health and vaccination and wear a belt/harness.
(9) Small pets may accompany their owners in all categories of passenger vessels and in all passenger accommodations (closed and open) without exception, with the consent of the captain, provided they are transported in special cages and have the appropriate certificates proving their welfare (health and vaccination). When transporting small pets in enclosed spaces of a passenger ship, where complaints and protests of other passengers must be considered, the captain of the ship or the officer authorized by him is responsible for the best possible logical handling of the matter. In any case, the animal’s companion must respect the instructions and orders of the captain or the officer designated by him.
Article 19 – Access to the beaches
(1) Dogs have access to non-organized beaches as well as to the sea. Outside the water, the use of a leash is always mandatory.
(2) On the organized beaches referred to in paragraph 1 of article 1 of p.d. 71/2020 (A’ 166), the access of dogs is allowed only if they are assistance dogs or if there is a corresponding clearly visible sign of the legal operator of the beach. Outside the sea, the use of a leash is always mandatory.
(3) Without prejudice to article 21, the access of dogs to beaches awarded with the Blue Flag by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature is prohibited.
Article 20 – Do not allow stray pets to access waste
Prevent stray pets from accessing waste. Managers of slaughterhouses, butchers, hospitals, warehouses, storage facilities, food dispensaries, mass catering establishments and, in general, establishments of public health interest are obliged to take appropriate measures to prevent stray pets from accessing waste from their establishments.
Article 21 – Assistance dogs and therapy animals
(1) Assistance dogs and therapy animals may go where their companions have access, including restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, public institutions, sports facilities and churches, as far as their size and particular characteristics allow. The person accepting the services of the animal shall carry the necessary certificates proving that the animal is an assistance dog or therapy animal and shall show them upon request to the management of facilities where the entry of pets is not normally permitted.
(2) Assistance dogs and therapy animals are permitted to be used in hospitals, addiction centers, nursing facilities of all types, clinics, and nursing homes for supportive therapeutic purposes (‘animal assisted therapy’ or ‘pet therapy’), including but not limited to the treatment of mental disorders, and the promotion of mental health and psychomotor rehabilitation of patients.
(3) Assistance dogs and therapy animals herein comply with applicable EU and national health requirements.
CHAPTER IX – PARTICIPATION OF ANIMALS IN EXHIBITIONS, SHOWS AND OTHER RELATED ACTIVITIES
Article 22 – Organization of exhibitions with pets
(1) The natural or legal person or association of persons organizing exhibitions or events with pet animals must have an appropriate permit issued by the competent veterinary service of the competent municipality and, in the absence thereof, by the veterinary service of the competent regional unit. In particular, with regard to dogs, the events may consist of conformation shows or sporting competitions and sports defined by the Fédération Internationale des Kennels and subject to the animal welfare regulations referred to in Article 2.
(2) During the show or event, the companion animals are under the direct supervision of their owner or proprietor, who must not cause them fear or pain. Companion animals exhibiting unprovoked aggressive behavior toward other animals or people must be muzzled or removed from the show or event. The presence of a veterinarian, if the exhibition or event involves dogs, is mandatory throughout the exhibition or event.
(3) Dogs and cats participating in exhibitions or events must be marked and registered in the EMZS or have a passport and their companions must carry a printed copy of the animal’s electronic book or their passport showing that they have been vaccinated and that they have been recently dewormed.
(4) The participation of mutilated animals in exhibitions and events of any kind is prohibited.
(5) It is allowed to organize events that promote the adoption of street animals.
Article 23 – Prohibition of participation of animals in any kind of shows and other related activities
(1) It is prohibited to participate in any way and for any purpose with animals in any program or performance performed in a circus or troupe with a diversified program.
(2) Participation of animals in any way and for any purpose in performances of any kind, not excluding educational performances, is prohibited. Events with the participation of animals within the framework of folk or local traditions shall be permitted only if the welfare of the animals is guaranteed and the compulsory presence of a veterinarian throughout the event. The abuse and slaughter of animals in this context is strictly prohibited. In the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, Article 34(2)(2) shall apply. An event with the participation of an animal or animals shall be approved by resolution of the municipal council of the municipality in which the event will take place. The supervising veterinarian shall prepare a report prior to the event, which shall be submitted to the municipal council before the event is approved and shall be part of the municipal council’s resolution. The supervising veterinarian shall prepare a new report after the event, certifying that the welfare of the animal or animals participating in the event has not been violated.
(3) Without prejudice to article 22, it is forbidden to use an animal in a public outdoor exhibition for the purpose of obtaining a financial benefit.
(4) The following shall be exempt from the performances referred to in paragraph 2: (a) performances of horsemanship and equestrian sports, which shall include jumping obstacles, horsemanship and equestrian triathlon, or (b) demonstrations as referred to in paragraph 1(2) of Article 22, or (c) cases of feature films and general audiovisual educational material, on condition that the animal is not mistreated.
(5) Breeding, training and participation of animals in fights of any kind are prohibited. The breeding, export and use of dogs, cats, horses and weasel species (Mustela putorius furo) for the production of furs, leather, meat or for the production of medicines or other substances is also prohibited.
(6) The competent authority for the implementation of paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4) shall be the local self-government organization that issues the license to operate the business or hold the event pursuant to Article 81 of Law 3463/2006 (A’ 114 ).
(7) In cases of commercial, entertainment or artistic spectacles, musical or performance or other artistic or other related artistic or entertainment events or programs from paras. 1, 2, 3 and 4 above, for which the issuance of an operating permit is required, the applicant for the permit shall submit to the authority responsible for issuing the permit a responsible declaration of Act 1599/1986 (A’ 75) that it does not keep animals on its premises to be used in any way for the program or event, subject to the exceptions of Article 16.
(8) The competent authority under subsection (6) shall be entitled to conduct a site inspection at the place where the establishment is located or the event is held, at any time before or after the permit is issued, to determine whether the provisions herein are being complied with. During the inspection, the competent authority may request the assistance of the police authorities if it deems it necessary. The Company shall assist the competent authorities during the inspection. If the inspection is obstructed, the operating license shall not be issued or, if already issued, shall be revoked.
(9) The authority referred to in paragraph (6) shall be responsible for receiving and investigating complaints about violations of this Article. In the event of a complaint, the competent authority shall be obliged to conduct an immediate on-site inspection no later than the next working day following the receipt of the complaint.
(10) Raffles, lotteries and contests with prizes as pets are prohibited.
(11) This is without prejudice to article 22 and the special provisions for race horses and horse racing.
CHAPTER X – ANIMAL CRUELTY
Article 24 – Cruelty to animals
(1) Without prejudice to more specific provisions of European and national legislation, as well as subsection (v) of Section b of Article 10(5), the following shall be prohibited:
(a) the mistreatment, bad and cruel treatment of animals of any kind, such as in particular the drastic and non-iatrogenic restriction of normal movement, such as ‘horseshoeing’, training methods not permitted, work not intended for the animal, unauthorized reproduction, intentional injury by simple bodily harm; and
(b) killing and torturing animals by intentionally inflicting severe physical pain or physical exhaustion that endangers their health, including but not limited to poisoning, strangulation, hanging, suffocation, causing burns, heat shock, electric shock, frostbite, crushing, mutilation (non-therapeutic), Shooting (injury or death of an animal), intentional injury (serious, dangerous bodily harm), dog fighting and any type of fighting between animals, animal riding, sexual abuse of an animal using objects for the sadistic gratification of the perpetrator, and abandonment of newborn animals. Sterilization of the animal and any other veterinary intervention with therapeutic purpose shall not be considered as mutilation.
(2) With the exception of the cases of films and audiovisual educational material in general, the possession, sale, marketing and presentation, as well as the distribution of audiovisual material, such as videos or other types of films, through the Internet photographic material depicting acts of violence against an animal, as well as sexual intercourse between animals or between an animal and a human being for the purpose of profit or sexual gratification of persons watching or participating in it, is prohibited. The above prohibition also includes the case of fights between animals.
(3) In case of injury to an animal in a traffic accident, the person responsible for this act is obliged to immediately notify the competent municipality or the Hellenic Police in order to provide the injured animal with the necessary veterinary care through the competent services the competent municipality.
Article 25 – Reporting incidents of animal cruelty
(1) In order to deal more effectively with incidents of abuse, a digital application and website shall be developed by the G.G.P.S.D.D. to report incidents of animal abuse as well as any violation of the present regulations.
(2) Complaints may also be made anonymously. If the complaint is anonymous, it will only be investigated if it contains specific facts that provide a sufficient basis for its investigation.
CHAPTER XI – PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF ANIMAL DISEASES
Article 26 – Preparation and implementation of programs for the prevention and control of zoonoses
(1) The prevention and treatment of diseases transmitted from animals to humans or to other animals of the same or a different species shall be carried out by means of special programs. These programs define the rules for disease prevention and control applied to the different categories of registered diseases as defined in Article 9 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016.
(2) The special programs referred to in paragraph 1 shall be established by the General Veterinary Directorate of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food and implemented by the competent veterinary authorities. When a case of rabies occurs in an animal, the General Directorate of Veterinary Medicine of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food may take additional measures, either in a specific region of the country or in the entire territory, beyond those provided for in Law 1197/1981 (A’ 240) and 2017/1992 (A’ 31).
Article 27 – Treatment of leishmaniasis
(1) Dominant dogs in which leishmaniasis (Leishmania spp.) has been diagnosed by a veterinarian and its irreversible course has been confirmed by laboratory tests, shall be subjected to euthanasia with the consent of the owner, taking into account the regulations, in order to minimize the health and welfare of the dogs/animals and the potential risk to public health due to the presence of sand flies – carriers of the above disease. In the event that euthanasia is not applied, after the opinion of the veterinarian and under the responsibility of the owners of the dominant dogs, all supportive therapeutic and preventive measures will be taken, to be entered in the book of notifiable diseases that each veterinarian is obliged to keep, while the EMZS will also be updated annually.
(2) All stray dogs, regardless of their clinical picture, must undergo a serological test at their first collection to detect the titer of specific antibodies against Leishmania spp. using an appropriate validated method (such as the Leishmania rapid test). Taking into account animal health and welfare regulations, as well as the potential public health risk arising from the presence of sandflies – carriers of Leishmania spp – stray dogs are euthanized.
If, according to veterinary opinion, the clinical picture and the hematological and parasitological examinations allow treatment, the dogs are kept in an enclosed area or an area fenced with suitable protective fencing throughout the treatment. Treatment is prescribed by the veterinarian according to the proposed treatment protocols using pharmaceutical preparations approved by the National Medicines Agency or the European Medicines Agency. The prescription (the use of pharmaceutical preparations approved by the National Medicines Agency or the European Medicines Agency) containing the treatment protocol with the signature and seal of the treating veterinarian shall be kept in the archives of the shelter or the municipality and a copy thereof shall be carried by the owner in case of adoption.
(3) If the dogs are adopted according to paragraph 2, the new owner must be informed in writing about the titer of specific antibodies against Leismania spp. Thereafter, the owner is obliged to take responsibility in writing for comprehensive and proper treatment and prophylaxis with parallel control by the community veterinarian or veterinary services of the respective region. The new owner is obliged to keep all reports and documents of laboratory and other examinations, as well as the prescription containing the treatment protocol for leishmaniasis with signature and seal of the treating veterinarian, throughout the life of the animal and keep them available for inspection at any time.
(4) For animals tested positive for leishmaniasis (pets and strays), all necessary preventive measures shall be taken every six months and a veterinary examination and titer determination of anti-Leishmania spp antibodies shall be carried out to assess the course of the disease, in accordance with all laboratory test documents. The result and the exact titer of the antibodies in the animals re-examined every six months shall be entered in the special fields of the EMZS by the veterinarian treating the animal or the veterinarian in charge of the animal shelter.
(5) The supporting documents described in this article shall be available for inspection by the veterinary services of the regions and regional units of the country. In addition, the veterinarian shall record ‘Leishmaniasis positive’ in the electronic record book of each leishmaniasis-positive dog.
(6) The management of service dogs of the armed forces and security forces affected by leishmaniasis shall be based on the relevant special regulations of the armed forces.
CHAPTER XII – ANIMAL SHELTERS AND PARKS
Article 28 – Animal shelters
(1) Animal shelters shall be established and operated by municipalities, their legal entities or associations of municipalities, inter-municipal partnerships or municipal development organizations pursuant to Article 2 of Act 4674/2020 (A’ 53), animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations, organizations registered in the relevant EMZS sub-register, and natural persons. The lawful operation of the animal shelter shall be subject to its registration in the Sub-Register of Pet Shelters pursuant to Section 23(2) and the daily presence of staff (including volunteers) for at least eight (8) hours per day.
(2) All animal shelters:
(a) shall be required to register all electronically tagged animals that are in the shelter on a website operated by them. Animals shall be registered on the website within forty-eight (48) hours of their entry into the shelter, whether or not they are still electronically tagged. The website shall contain, for each animal, at least a photograph of the animal, the electronic tag number (if available), the date of entry into the shelter, and the link pointing to the Article 9 adoption platform. Animals that have been adopted, transferred to other shelter structures, re-homed, or deceased will remain on the website for a minimum of one (1) year with appropriate reference to the reason the animal is no longer at the shelter. The link to the shelter’s website will be posted on the appropriate municipality’s website and on the EMZS shelter sub-register. Each shelter’s website also provides information on animal adoption and lists the veterinarian (or veterinarians) caring for the shelter’s animals. In exceptional cases, and with a specially justified decision by the Article 10(8) Committee, an animal may not be registered on the municipal website and on the Panhellenic Platform for the Adoption of Stray Pets.
(b) Establish visiting hours each week, at least eight (8) hours per week between sunrise and sunset, one (1) of which shall be on a weekend. These hours must be posted on the shelter’s website. Visitors should be able to see any animal posted on the shelter’s website.
(3) The construction and operation of shelters for pets shall be outside the boundaries of built-up and residential areas, in forest areas and public grassland areas, in accordance with Section 3 (a) and (b) of subsection 5 of Act 998/1979 (A’ 289). In addition, such shelters shall: (a) be located up to five (5) kilometers from the edge of the settlement; and (b) have easy road access.
(4) For the welfare of the animals and for orderly operation, the shelter may adopt rules to be observed when the public visits. Such rules shall be posted on the animal shelter’s website.
(5) The non-municipal or municipal animal shelters are allowed to move neutered animals housed in them back to the familiar environment from which they were taken and to the designated areas with the decision referred to in Article 45, paragraph 5, after approval of the Committee referred to in Article 10, paragraph 8. In this case, the EMZS shall be informed before the transfer with the details of the competent municipality.
(6) Animal shelters must annually report to the relevant municipality, by February 15 of each year, the report on their operations during the previous year, including at least the number of animals they take in at the beginning of the year, and publish it on their website: New arrivals during the year, adoptions, deaths, and transfers of animals to other facilities.
(7) A decision to euthanize domestic animals housed in a shelter shall be made solely in accordance with the procedure provided for stray animals, as defined in Article 10(7) and (8).
(8) Animal shelters, hatcheries, and all other animal habitats must have a plan in place to deal with natural disasters, especially fires and the safe evacuation of animals, which must be updated annually. The plan must be posted on the shelter’s website.
Article 29 – Specifications for the establishment and operation of shelters for domestic animals
(1) Animal shelters may accept dogs and cats and other companion animals.
(2) animal shelters shall:
(a) Strictly observe the rules of hygiene and cleanliness of the animals housed and the rules of their well-being. In particular, food and water dishes must be thoroughly cleaned daily.
(b) Have either a potable water supply or a suitable water tank that ensures sufficient water both for the housed animals and for daily cleaning of the premises.
(c) Have at least one (1) person designated as responsible for the operation of the shelter and the welfare of the housed animals, and shall cooperate with at least one (1) veterinarian who, in the absence of suitable space in the shelter, shall care for the receiving animals requiring hospitalization or treatment. In addition, the veterinarian responsible for health monitoring of the shelter shall:
(ca) for the veterinary examination of all incoming animals, for the periodic inspection of all incoming animals, and for their vaccination,
(cb) for reporting the occurrence of reportable diseases to the appropriate veterinary authorities,
(cc) for the reporting of notifiable disease and preventive vaccinations carried out to the competent veterinary service.
(d) Have adequate equipment for feeding the host animals and for their continued access to potable water.
(e) Perform general disinfection of the area and extermination of insects, ectoparasites, and harmful rodents at least once every two (2) months.
(f) Immediately remove and dispose of shelter waste in the appropriate receptacles.
(g) Have appropriate areas to protect housed animals from cold, heat, and adverse weather conditions.
(h) Store animal food in a suitable place so that it is not exposed to the elements.
(i) Have suitable exercise areas, depending on the type of animals kept. Especially for dogs, – alternatively a walk on a leash – lasting at least thirty (30) minutes, two (2) times a day.
(j) Under no circumstances to house unsterilized dogs or cats in the same enclosure and, in general, to take all measures to prevent their reproduction.
(3) The housing area for dogs is different from the housing area for cats and other domestic animals. In each case, it shall be ensured that different species of animals are not present in the same enclosure.
(4) In addition to the above, the fenced accommodation areas shall have:
(a) For dogs, a minimum height of one point seventy (1.7) meters and a minimum area of four (4) square meters. If more dogs are housed in the same space, the area shall increase by four (4) square meters for each additional dog.
(b) For cats, a height of at least one (1) meter and an area of at least two (2) square meters. If more than one cat is housed in the same space, the area shall be increased by two (2) square meters for each additional cat. The cat housing area shall be enclosed from above to prevent escape.
(c) Heights and surfaces suitable for other domestic animals so that the animal is in its natural position without impeding its natural movements.
(5) In particular, emergency shelters operated by municipalities, their legal entities and municipal associations shall have:
(a) total floor space of at least forty (40) square meters for:
(aa) administration, management and personnel office; and
(ab) feed and material storage,
(ac) optional clinic and recovery room for sick animals.
(6) Each shelter shall have on its website a detailed listing of the number of animals housed per species, which it shall update at least weekly, and shall maintain an up-to-date control book and disinfection book.
(7) With respect to the requirements for the establishment and operation of shelters for pet animals, only sections 28 and 29 shall apply.
(8) If, during the inspection of the operation of a shelter by the competent veterinary and health authorities, it is found that the requirements of §§ 28 and 29 are not complied with, the shelter manager shall be punished by a fine of ten thousand (10,000) euros or a temporary suspension of the operation of the shelter for up to six (6) months. In case of recurrence, a permanent suspension of operations may be imposed. Sanctions shall be imposed by decision of the competent district governor upon recommendation of the competent veterinary service and shall be implemented with the assistance of the police authorities. Animal shelters operating without a permit on or after 3/31/2022 shall be sealed by the veterinary services with the assistance of the police authorities.
(9) As long as the shelters perform adoptions abroad, they shall comply at least with the requirements of Law 2017/1992 (A’ 31) and Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/2035 of 28 June 2019 on the enforcement Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the requirements for establishments keeping terrestrial animals and hatcheries and the traceability of certain terrestrial animals kept and hatching eggs (L 314).
Article 30 – Establishment and operation of fenced dog enclosures
(1) Each municipality may establish and operate fenced dog parks to provide space for their exercise.
(2) The establishment and operation of fenced dog enclosures shall be permitted in the common areas of the Municipal Plan and settlements, such as squares, parks and groves. Their location and size do not negate the basic function of the common space in which they are incorporated. The construction and operation of fenced dog enclosures within fifty (50) meters of residences, schools and hospitals shall not be permitted.
(3) Animals shall be permitted to roam in the dog parks without a leash.
(4) Owners or guardians or escorts must remain in the fenced dog parks during the time their dogs are there.
(5) Fenced dog parks shall have adequate fencing and double entry/exit doors to prevent dogs from wandering off unattended during training.
(6) In addition to the areas defined by the procedure of Article 57 of Law 2637/1998 (A’ 200), in controlled hunting areas it is allowed to define limited dog training areas as well as to hold dog hunting ability competitions.
(7) Compliance with the operating conditions of the dog parks is ensured by the control and inspection bodies in case of violation of § 3.
CHAPTER XIII – PROMOTION OF PHILOSOPHY AND PROTECTION OF ANIMALS
Article 31 – Education, training and promotion of philanthropy
The competent departments of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with other competent departments, shall ensure:
(a) the organization of educational seminars and the promotion of information and training programs through the mass media for people who are owners of pet animals and for people involved in the breeding, training, trade and keeping of animals from them, as well as to inform local communities about legislation on the protection of animals.
(b) To promote, raise awareness of, and develop philanthropy and responsible pet ownership in kindergartens and elementary and secondary schools through events, lectures, demonstrations, stray animal handling seminars, and other appropriate educational programs. These programs are part of a separate unit dedicated to animals. In accordance with a recommendation of the Institute for Educational Policy (I.E.P.), the implementation of at least one (1) animal-related educational activity per year shall be ensured for each primary and secondary school class. In this regard, particular use shall be made of the expertise and scientific support of the Article 39 Monitoring Committee.
Article 32 – Training of security forces
The curriculum of the Officers’ School and the Police School of the Hellenic Police, as well as the Cadet School of the Coast Guard, shall include training on the protection of the welfare of domestic animals.
Article 33 – Additional animal protection provisions
(1) Based on the interest of the animal, the competent public prosecutor’s office shall temporarily or permanently remove the pet animal or animal of another category from the possession of the offender of Article 9, paragraph 1, letters (e’) and (g’) and of Article 24 and of the animal delivered to a shelter for stray animals. The public prosecutor may prohibit the offender from acquiring another animal. In particular, for Article 24, paragraph 1, letter b, the removal is final. The offender shall be obliged to bear the costs associated with the restoration of health, veterinary care and maintenance of the animal, as evidenced by documents and confirmed by the competent municipality. Temporary removal of a pet animal may also be decided in exceptional situations by the control and inspection bodies of § 3, paragraph 6.
(2) Without prejudice to stricter regulations, the competent public prosecutor’s office may, upon receipt of a publication or complaint, determine the conditions in a home or kennel or habitat for stray animals by conducting an on-site post-mortem examination with the assistance of a veterinarian of the region concerned. If such conditions do not comply with these, as well as with the specific regulations governing the operation of the above structures, he may, by temporary order, determine the measures to be taken by the person in charge of the operation: Housing, habitat or rearing and the period within which they must be complied with.
CHAPTER XIV – PENALTIES
Article 34 – Criminal sanctions
(1) Illegal trade in pet animals as defined in this Article shall be punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year and a fine of up to three hundred and sixty (360) daily penalty units, each of which shall be assessed between ten (10) to fifty (50) euros.
(2) Violations of Article 9, paragraph e and paragraph 1, paragraph g, Article 8, paragraph 10, paragraphs c and d, Article 22, paragraph 4, and Article 24, paragraph 1, paragraph a, shall be punishable by imprisonment for not less than one (1) year and a fine of up to three hundred sixty (360) daily rates, each of which shall be assessed at between ten (10) and fifty (50) euros. Violations of Article 23, paragraph 5, and Article 24, paragraph 1, paragraph b, shall be punishable by imprisonment for up to ten (10) years and a fine of up to five hundred (500) daily rates, each of which shall be set at fifty (50) to one hundred (100) euros.
(3) Violations of Article 23, with the exception of paragraph 5, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to two (2) years and a fine of up to three hundred and sixty (360) daily rates, each of which shall be assessed from ten (10) to fifty (50) euros.
(4) Violations of Article 9, paragraph 5, as well as theft of domestic animals shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to six (6) months and a fine of up to three hundred (300) daily rates of ten (10) to twenty (20) euros. Theft of a hunting or assistance dog shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to one (1) year and a fine of up to three hundred and sixty (360) daily rates, each of which shall be assessed at ten (10) to fifty (50) euros.
(5) Violations of Articles 3, 4, 7, 9, 10 and 11 of Law 2017/1992 (A’ 31) shall be punishable by the penalties provided for in paragraph (2).
(6) In cases under subsections (1) to (5), the report on the violation prepared by a competent authority shall be forwarded to the competent municipality within ten (10) days for the imposition of the prescribed administrative fines and penalties.
(7) In cases of offenses under this Act, any nonprofit association or organization operating at the local or national level and registered in the Register of Nonprofit Associations and Organizations of the EMCCS, whether or not it is the one that has suffered property damage, may appear in support of the prosecution. The relevant testimony may be given both during the pre-trial and trial, pursuant to Article 84 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Law 4620/2019 , A’ 96).
Article 35 – Administrative sanctions
(1) The following administrative sanctions shall be imposed in case of violation of the present Regulations:
1) Failure by the owner of the animals to comply with the rules for their protection and good treatment and failure on his part to comply with the specific requirements of paragraph 2 of Article 2 to ensure their welfare (Article 2(2)): 1,000 euros.
2) Failure to mark and register dogs and cats bred, raised or for sale, and failure to register changes in their data and the data of the female sire (Article 4(3)): 3,000 euros
3) Failure to provide complete and accurate information to the EMZS by a veterinarian (Article 4(6)): 300 euros
4) Incorrect registration of a veterinarian in the EMZS regarding the sterilization of the pet or the sending of genetic material to EFAGYZS (Article 4(6)): 2.000 Euro
5) Failure to keep an up-to-date electronic health book or passport for pets intended for breeding or breeding or for sale (Article 8(2)): 1,000 euros for the first animal, increased by 10% for each additional one.
6) Breeding, reproducing or selling domestic animals in violation of Article 8(1), (2), (3) and (4) (Article 8(1), (2), (3) and (4)): 3,000 euros
7) Failure to keep records of each female breeding animal by a breeder (Article 8, paragraph 6): 1,000 euros for the first animal, increased by 10% for each additional one.
8) Insemination of breeding females before the second oestrus cycle and before the expiration of nine (9) months since the last litter (Article 8(7)): 2,000 euros for the first animal, increased by 10% for each additional one.
9) Breeding after the ninth year of the animal’s life and more than six (6) breedings of the same animal in its life (Article 8, paragraph 8): 2,000 euros for the first animal, increased by 10% for each additional one.
10) Breeding of pet animals whose anatomical and physiological characteristics or behavioral traits, depending on the species and breed, may prove to be detrimental to the health and well-being of the female reproductive mate and her offspring (Article 8(9)): 3,000 euros for the first animal, increased by 10% for each additional one.
11) Sale of dogs and cats under twelve (12) weeks of age, sale of dogs and cats in outdoor public places, including flea markets, as well as in online stores that do not belong to lawfully operating pet breeding, breeding and trading enterprises (Article 8(10)(a’), (b’), (e’) and (f’): 4,000 euros per animal sold.
12) Import and trade of mutilated dogs (Article 8, Paragraph 10, Paragraph c’): 2,000 euros per animal.
13) Breeding of mutilated dogs (Article 8, Paragraph 10, Paragraph d’): 1,000 Euros per animal.
14) Online or printed advertisements a) for the mating of domestic animals or b) for the sale of dogs and cats, if they do not meet the conditions of paragraph 13 of Article 6, or c) for the adoption of stray animals, if they do not meet the conditions of paragraph 14 of Article 6 (Article 8 par. 11, 12, 13 and 14): 1,000 euros.
15) Entry into the Greek territory of a pet that does not have an electronic tag or comes from establishments that do not meet the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2019/2035 (Article 8, paragraph 15): 500 euros.
16) Failure to timely identify and register a dog or cat or report the loss of a pet, as well as failure to enter all data about the owner or lost pet and their changes into the EMZS (Article 9, paragraph 1, letters b’ and c’): 300 euros.
17) Failure to sterilize a dog or cat or send a sample of its genetic material to EEGYZS (Article 9, paragraph 1, letter a’): 1,000 euros.
18) Failure to comply with the animal welfare requirements of the pet or the veterinary examination of the animal or its annual vaccination, as well as mutilation of the animal without medical reason (Article 9(1)(d’), (e’) and (j’)): 1,000 euros.
19) Not having an updated animal passport (Article 9(1)(f)): 300 euros.
20) Failure to immediately clean the environment of the animal’s excrement (Article 9(1)(h’): 100 euros.
21) Failure to follow the rules for safe dog walking, causing damage by a dog and not taking measures to prevent the dog from leaving the property of the owner or companion or guardian (Article 9 par. 2 and par. 2 3 C. a’, b’, c’): 300 euros.
22) Permanent living of a cat in a cage (Article 9 paragraph 4): 300 euros.
23) Removal of electronic identification device from a pet animal without medical reason (Article 9(5)): 3,000 euros and revocation of the veterinary professional license for two (2) years.
24) Failure to have an updated passport or copy of the electronic book of the hunting dog during a movement of the animal (Article 9(6)): 500 euros.
25) Sending false genetic material of a domestic animal by a veterinarian to EFAGYZS (Article 14): 2,000 euros and, in case of recurrence, revocation of the veterinary professional license for one (1) month.
26) Failure to comply with animal welfare, health and police regulations for pets kept in single-family homes and apartments. Keeping more than three (3) pets in a multi-family dwelling when the ordinance prohibits the keeping of more pets (Article 15 (2), (3) and (4)): 500 euros per pet.
27) Moving dogs and cats in violation of Article 17(1), (2) and (3) (Article 17(1), (2) and (3)): 500 euros per animal.
28) Transport of a pet animal in a means of public transport without complying with the provisions of Article 17(4) (Article 17(4)): 300 euros per animal.
29) Failure to provide the required special cages for the transport of large pets on passenger ships (Article 18(1)): 5,000 euros.
30) Transportation of domestic animals in violation of Article 18(2), (4), (6) and (10): 500 euros per animal.
31) Failure of liner managers/owners to include in the ticket reservation system the appropriate registration field of the marking/identification data of the pets to be transported according to the number of available cages (Article 18(7)): 5,000 euros.
32) Transportation of pets in the luggage compartment of KTEL buses, tourist and other buses (Article 18(6)): 1,000 euros.
33) Failure of responsible persons to take appropriate measures to prevent strays from gaining access to waste (Article 20): 1,000 euros.
34) Organization of an exhibition with pets without a permit (Article 22(1)): 5,000 euros per day of the event.
35) Causing fear or pain to a companion animal during an event or failure to directly supervise a companion animal during an event or failure to muzzle or remove from an event a companion animal that exhibits aggressive behavior (Article 22(2)): 1,000 euros per animal.
36) Presentation of an amputated animal to participate in an exhibition and acceptance by the organizer (Article 22, paragraph 4): 1,000 euros per animal.
37) The absence of a printed copy of the e-booklet or updated passport of a pet animal participating in an exhibition (Article 22, paragraph 3): 1,000 euros for the first animal, increased by 10% for each additional one.
38) Participation of an animal in a program or performance performed in a circus or troupe with a varied program (Article 23(1)): 30,000 euros for each animal kept.
39) Participation of any kind of animal in shows and other related activities referred to in Article 23(2)(1) (Article 23(2) first paragraph): 20,000 euros for each animal kept.
40) Use of an animal in a public open-air exhibition with the aim of obtaining a financial benefit or as part of the preservation of folk or local traditions without complying with the prescribed conditions, or as a prize in raffles, lotteries and contests (Article 23(2)(2), (3) and (10)): 10,000 euros for each animal used.
41) Breeding, training and participation of an animal in any kind of fight (Article 23(5)(one)): 40,000 euros for each animal.
42) Breeding, exporting or using a dog or cat or horse or rodent or weasel species (Mustela putorius furo) for the production of fur, skin, meat or for the production of medicines or other substances (Article 23, paragraph 5, second paragraph): 50,000 euros for each animal.
43) Mistreatment, ill and cruel treatment of any kind of animals (active and non-iatrogenic restriction of normal movement, improper methods of education, work unrelated to the species, illegal breeding, intentional injury with simple bodily harm, abandonment) (Article 24, paragraph 1, letter a’ and Article 9, paragraph 1, letter g’): 5,000 to 15,000 euros per animal, depending on the severity of the offense.
44) Killing, torturing of animals by intentional infliction of severe physical pain or physical exhaustion, endangering health, especially by poisoning, strangulation, hanging, suffocation/drowning, causing burns, heat shock, electric shock, frostbite, crushing, amputation (non -therapeutic), shooting (injury or death of an animal), intentional injury (serious, dangerous bodily injury), fighting between animals, riding on animals, sexual abuse of the animal using objects for the sadistic pleasure of the perpetrator, abandonment of newborn animals, as well as sale, trade and presentation (trade in audio-visual material via the Internet, in which any kind of sexual intercourse with animals, as well as any act of violence or killing of small animals for the purpose of profit and sexual gratification of persons) they observe or participate (Article 24(1)(b) and (2)): 30,000 to 50,000 euros for each animal and incident.
45) Leaving an injured animal after a traffic accident (Article 24(3)): 500 euros.
46) Refusing or obstructing in any way the control carried out by the competent bodies to detect violations in the performance of control tasks, as well as failing to provide or release false, incomplete or inaccurate information and data: 500 euros.
(2) The above-mentioned fines are revenues of the municipalities in whose administrative boundaries the violation is detected.
(3) In case of repetition of the violation, the fines shall be doubled in each case. Violators of Articles 8, 22 and 23 shall also have their licenses revoked for a period of one (1) month to one (1) year. Competent bodies for the certification of violations herein shall be those referred to in paragraph 6 of Article 3.
(4) The violation certification shall contain (a) the competent authority and the time limit for appeal pursuant to paragraph (5) of this Article, (b) the violation and the Article of the Act to which it relates, and (c) the amount of the fine. The act certifying the violation shall be notified to the violator and a copy shall be promptly sent to the competent authority pursuant to Paragraph 6.
(5) Objections to the determination of the violation shall be filed within five (5) business days with the head of the authority whose body determined it. The decision considering the objections shall be fully substantiated with reference to the specific incidents and elements. This decision shall be communicated to the competent authority in accordance with paragraph 6.
(6) If no objections are raised or if they are rejected, the fine shall be imposed immediately by decision of the head of the financial department of the municipality in whose territory the violation was committed. If the above-mentioned period has elapsed, the fine shall be certified by the treasury department of the municipality in its entirety and collected in accordance with the Public Revenue Collection Code ( o.J. 356/1974 , A’ 90).
(7) In particular, for the violation of Section 9, paragraph 1, subparagraphs a and b, concerning the failure to sterilize or send genetic material of the animal and the failure to identify and register a pet animal in due time, the fine shall be issued by the competent Municipality, certified by the Cashier’s Office and collected in accordance with the provisions of the Public Revenue Collection Code.
(8) In the event of a continuing violation, the competent body certifying it shall set a reasonable time limit for its elimination and, in the event of non-compliance, shall impose a new fine after each reconfirmation of the violation.
(9) The revenues from the fines under this Act shall be recorded separately in a special account (ALE) in the budget of the Municipality and shall be used exclusively for the improvement of municipal animal shelters and veterinary clinics, the construction of new ones and the treatment of costs arising from the implementation of this Act.
(10) Paragraphs (2) through (9) shall not apply if violations of paragraph (10)(c) or Article 8(15) or Article 17(6) are found during the customs inspection. Fines under paragraph 1 shall be imposed and collected by the competent customs authority in accordance with the provisions of Act 2960/2001 (A’ 265).
Article 36 – Offenders Register
The register of offenders referred to in Article 2, paragraph 24, shall include those who have been legally convicted of violating the first paragraph of paragraph g of paragraph 1 of Article 9, paragraph c’ and d of paragraph 10 of Article Article 22, paragraph 8, Article 23, paragraph 5, and Article 24, paragraph 1, paragraphs a’ and b’. Offenders or responsible legal persons shall not be allowed to receive animals, nor shall they be allowed to hold a voluntary or involuntary position from which they may affect the welfare of an animal, including but not limited to working in a shelter, zoo or other type of animal husbandry, for a specified period of at least ten (10) years from the date of the final criminal conviction, unless the sentence imposed is of longer duration. In case of irrevocable acquittal, the registration will be cancelled.
CHAPTER XV – Collection, burial and cremation of dead animals
Article 37 – Collection, burial and cremation of dead animals
(1) The services responsible for the cleanliness of the streets of the national, regional and municipal network shall be obliged to remove dead animals from the streets and sidewalks and to carry out their cremation or hygienic burial in accordance with the provisions of national and EU legislation. Prior to the cremation or burial of the animals, the competent municipality or the road operator’s contracted veterinarian, if any, shall be notified to determine any violations of any existing prohibition. In the case of a dominant animal, the owner will be notified.
(2) The disposal of dead animals, such as cremation and landfilling, shall be carried out in accordance with the applicable national and EU legislation.
(3) Crematoria and animal cemeteries shall be established and operated by local government organizations and their associations, as well as by natural persons who meet the environmental licensing requirements under Law 4014/2011 (A’ 209). Local government organizations may also contract with private crematoria and animal cemeteries pursuant to Law 4412/2016 (A’ 147).
CHAPTER XVI – APPLICATION OF THE LAW
Article 38 – Responsibility of the Ombudsman
The Ombudsman is responsible for the mediation of animal rights and compliance with the relevant laws.
Article 39 – Special Supervisory Committee
(1) By decision of the Minister of the Interior, a Special Supervisory Committee shall be established, consisting of seven members, with a term of five years, with the possibility of renewal. The Committee shall be composed of the President, who shall be a person of known authority, and six (6) other regular members as follows:
(a) One (1) representative of the Panhellenic Veterinary Association,
(b) one (1) representative of non-profit associations or non-profit organizations that are registered in the sub-register of non-profit associations and organizations of Article 23 (2) and have a long history of activity and a recognized offer,
(c) One (1) representative of the ombudsman,
(d) two (2) representatives of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (K.ED.E.); and
(e) the head of the Department for the Protection of Domestic Animals of the Directorate for Organization and Activity of Local Self-Government of the Ministry of Interior.
(2) In particular, the representatives of non-profit associations or non-profit organizations shall be elected by electronic ballot from among all non-profit associations and non-profit organizations registered in the Sub-Register of Non-profit Associations and Organizations of Article 23, Article 2, and whose administration has arisen as a result of legal appointments.
(3) The committee under subsection (1) shall have the following duties:
(a) Monitoring the implementation.
(b) To provide scientific support to the competent authorities for the implementation and control of the implementation of the legislation on the protection of pet animals by preparing studies and drafting proposals on a regular basis or upon special request.
(c) The preparation of studies and reports, as well as the preparation of proposals to the competent authorities for the adoption of the appropriate operational planning, the implementation of the necessary procedures, protocols and international best practices and, in general, the implementation of effective measures to solve problems related to the protection of pets.
(d) To provide opinions to the competent authorities on individual issues related to the protection of domestic animals.
(e) Submitting proposals to the Department of the Interior and any other appropriate department for evaluation and improvement.
Article 40 – Responsibility for domestic animal issues: procedure for modifying the organization of the municipalities’ internal services
(1) Each municipality must designate an employee or deputy mayor or an authorized advisor for domestic animal issues, charged with ensuring the proper implementation of the stray animal management program.
(2) With the exception of Article 10 of Law 3584/2007 (A’ 143) and especially for the obligations arising therefrom, the modification of the organization of the internal service of the Municipalities shall be approved by the Finance Committee upon the recommendation of the Council (Executive Committee). The opinion of the Service Council shall be submitted within one (1) month of its request, failing which its approval shall be presumed.
Article 41 – Performance indicators
(1) The Division of Animal Welfare of the Directorate of Organization and Operation of Local Government of the Ministry of the Interior may designate as the competent authority for monitoring the implementation of the stray pet collection and management program by municipalities. Key performance indicators for monitoring the application of the operational programs of each municipality upon the approval of the Special Monitoring Committee pursuant to Article 39.
(2) Key performance indicators, which shall be established no later than two (2) months before the beginning of each year, shall include absolute target values and comparative data with the previous year. Municipalities must publish an annual report each year with their results in relation to these key performance indicators.
Article 42 – Evaluation
In the fifth year after entry into force, an overall evaluation is carried out with the aim of improving individual provisions or revising the overall framework for the welfare of pet animals. The evaluation process begins with a proposal from the Article 39 Monitoring Committee, followed by extensive consultation with all involved agencies.
CHAPTER XVI – OTHER SETTINGS
Article 43 – Subsidies to animal welfare associations and non-profit animal welfare organizations (amendment of paragraph 1A of Article 202 of Law 3463/2006)
In paragraph 1A of Article 202 of Law 3463/2006 (A’ 114) regarding the possibility of granting financial subsidies upon resolution of the Municipal Council, the following paragraph VII is added:
‘VII. In animal welfare associations or non-profit animal welfare organizations that have their registered office in the respective municipality and are registered in the partial register of animal welfare associations and organizations of the National Pet Registry (EMZS), which is led Ministry of Digital Governance.
An additional condition for this grant is the preparation of an appropriate action plan by the association or organization for the respective municipality and its approval by the five-member Monitoring Committee of the Operational Program for Dealing with Stray Pets and Preventing the Emergence of New Stray Animals of the relevant municipality. Under the same conditions, the above-mentioned unions and organizations may also receive a grant from the respective region as long as they operate within its borders.’
Article 44 – Certification of professional competence of dog trainers
The professional competence of dog trainers, with the exception of working dog trainers of the Armed Forces and Security Forces, shall be certified by the National Organization for the Certification of Qualifications and Professional Guidance pursuant to Law 4763/2020 (A’ 254).
PART B – AUTHORIZATION, TRANSITIVE, FINAL AND REPEALED PROVISIONS OF PART A
Article 45 – Authorization provisions
(1) By joint decision of the Ministers of Interior and Digital Administration, the terms and conditions for the establishment and operation of the EMZS and its sub-registries, including the Panhellenic Platform for the Adoption of Stray Pets, the specific content of each sub-directory registry and the fields contained therein, the matters related to the process of certification and granting an access code to certified users and those who gain access to the EMZS, the issues of data transfer from the existing registry, the procedure and conditions for the registration of data, the required supporting documents and any other relevant issues.
(2) By joint decision of the Ministers of Interior and Rural Development and Food, the specifications and equipment of veterinary clinic facilities available for sterilization, identification and registration of street animals by volunteer veterinarians, the procedure and duration of their provision, shall be determined and all other related matters.
(3) By resolution of the Municipal Council of each municipality, the categories of sensitive and endangered groups of Section 4, paragraph 13 may be determined and income or other criteria for free identification, registration in the EMZS, sterilization and vaccination of domestic animals (cats and dogs) may be established. In addition, by decision of the Municipal Council, the amounts of Article 9, paragraph 1, letter g may be increased or decreased, especially for the vulnerable groups of the first paragraph. The same decision may establish a surcharge for accommodation and boarding costs, which the owner who surrenders his animal to the Municipality shall pay per month of accommodation.
(4) By decision of the Minister of Rural Development and Food, the anatomical and physiological characteristics or behavioral traits of an animal that may prove harmful to the health and well-being of the female reproductive mate and its offspring and make their reproduction inadmissible.
(5) By decision of the executive committee of the municipality, after the opinion of the five-member committee on Article 10, paragraph 8, the details of determining the population density of stray animals in the reintroduction area shall be regulated and the areas where reintroduction is not allowed shall be delimited.
(6) By joint resolution of the Ministers of the Interior and Finance, issued within three (3) months of the publication of this resolution, the resources, procedure, criteria and method of funding of municipalities, inter-municipal partnerships and linkages municipalities for the purpose of implementation, and any other relevant matters.
(7) By resolution issued annually by the Secretary of the Interior, the amount of funding that each municipality shall receive for the implementation of the measures contained herein shall be determined, taking into account, among other things, the performance of each municipality in implementing the objectives of its operational program. In the event of serious non-compliance with the provisions herein, it shall be possible, by resolution of the Minister of the Interior, in accordance with the recommendation of the Special Committee of Article 39, to withhold a portion of the amount of the Central Autonomous Resources (KAP) to which the Municipality is entitled, which may amount to an amount equivalent to up to two (2) months annually.
(8) By decision of the Minister of Finance, the amount of the one-time grant received by IIBEAA shall be determined in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 13 and any other relevant matters.
(9) By resolution of the Minister of Interior, after approval of the Board of IIVEAA, details shall be determined for sending a sample of the pet’s genetic material to EFAGYZS by a dog or cat owner who does not wish to sterilize the animal and any other relevant matters. A similar decision may adjust the amount of the electronic fee of Article 14, paragraph 2, and expand the categories of pet owners who are required to send a sample of their pet’s genetic material to EFAGYZS.
(10) By decision of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, the specifications to which constructions for the transport of farm animals, such as trailers or cages on or in the body of vehicles, must comply are established.
(11) By a joint decision of the Ministers of the Interior and the Ministers of Digital Administration, the technical details for the development, operation and support of the digital application of Article 25, as well as the conditions and procedure for access to it by the competent authorities, shall be established by Article 3.
(12) By joint decision of the Ministers of Finance and Rural Development and Food, the veterinary regulations and general conditions for preventing the risk of entry into the country or the outbreak of animal diseases shall be established.
(13) A joint decision of the Ministers of the Interior and the Ministers of Rural Development and Food shall determine the specific issues concerning the procedure, documents, required supporting documents and all other details for the approval of animal shelters in accordance with the specifications of Articles 28 and 29, as well as the administrative sanctions imposed in case of their violation. The sanctions may consist of a fine of five hundred (500) euros to five thousand (5,000) euros and/or temporary closure of the shelters for up to six (6) months. In case of recurrence, a permanent closure of the shelter may be imposed.
(14) Bby resolution of the Municipal Council, the rules and hours of operation of fenced dog parks within the territorial district of each municipality, the separation of small and large dogs for access to the parks, the maximum number of dogs per companion and other relevant matter for the smooth operation of fenced dog parks shall be clarified.
(15) By joint decision of the Ministers of Environment and Energy and Interior, the conditions for the designation of areas in controlled hunting areas where dog training and dog hunting skill competitions are allowed, beyond the areas established by the procedure Article 57 of Law 2637/1998 (A’ 200).
(16) By joint decision of the Ministers of the Interior and of Culture, the detailed content of the programs of Article 31, as well as the nature, criteria, procedure and amount of their financing, may be determined.
(17) By decision of the Minister of the Interior, the specific issues concerning the manner and procedure of collection, elimination and reassessment of the fines referred to in Article 35, paragraphs 1 and 2, and any other relevant issues shall be determined.
(18) By a decision of the Minister of the Interior, made within six (6) months of the publication hereof, shall determine the powers of the Special Monitoring Committee pursuant to Article 39, the specifics of its activities, and any other relevant matters.
(19) By a joint decision of the Ministers of the Interior and Digital Governance, all necessary details concerning the election of the representative of animal protection associations and organizations in the Section 39 Committee shall be determined.
Article 46 – Transitional Provisions
(1) Wwithin thirty (30) days of the submission of a request to this effect by the Ministry of Digital Governance, the Ministry of Rural Development and Food shall transfer to it the existing ‘online electronic database’ that has recorded the identification codes, the details of the owners and the pets that it has recorded from the date on which it was instructed to maintain the ‘online electronic database’ until the date of its transfer to the Ministry of Digital Governance. This transfer does not suspend the obligations of the Department of Rural Development and Food or its access to the EMZS under the written regulations. It shall continue to be operated at the Department of Rural Development and Food until the transfer of operations.
(2) Until the EMZS begins operation, the identification and registration of dogs and cats shall continue to be conducted in the Department of Rural Development and Food’s online electronic database. Owners of dogs and cats who have already identified their pets or are in the process of identifying their pets on the existing basis may complete their information pursuant to Article 4 within a period of six (6) months from the commencement of operation of the EMZS. During the same period, pet owners’ entries already registered during this period may be deleted if they are no longer owned or living.
(3) Professional and amateur breeders of dogs and cats must register in the sub-register of professional and amateur breeders within six (6) months from the date of commissioning of the EMZS.
(4) Within six (6) months from the publication of this notice, the municipalities must make the necessary changes to their internal service organization for the organization and implementation of the stray management program, in accordance with Article 10 of the Local and Municipal Code (Law 3584/2007 , A’ 143).
(5) The year 2023 is defined as the first year of application of the key performance indicators of Article 41, and their publication by the Directorate of Organization and Operation of Local Government must be made no later than 31.10.2022.
(6) Shelters in operation at the time of this publication must comply with the provisions of Articles 28 and 29 by 31.3.2022. Decisions to close shelters shall be suspended until the above date, unless it is determined by a report from the relevant agencies that the lives of the sheltered animals are threatened. Emergency shelters approved by the effective date of this shall be required to comply with the duties of Sections 28 and 29 until 30.9.2023.
Article 47 – Final and repealing provisions
(1) The present provisions do not affect other provisions of laws or international conventions ratified by law that provide greater protection for all species of animals. Also, the provisions of the Sixth Book n.d. remain unaffected, 86/1969 (A’ 7) and the acts issued under its authority.
(2) Where in the provisions reference is made to the Cynological Club of Greece, it is also understood that any other federation has the status of member of the International Cynological Federation (Federation Cynologique Internationale ) after the publication of this present document. By decision of the Minister of Interior, the registration of this association with the International Kennel Federation shall be established.
(3) When in the provisions of this article reference is made to the Hellenic Cat Club, it is understood that any other federation shall acquire the status of a member of the International Cynological Federation (Federation Internationale Feline) after the publication of this article. By decision of the Minister of the Interior, the registration of this Association in the International Federation of Cats shall be established.
(4) The restrictions on the movement of domestic animals contained herein shall not apply in cases of application of Article 27 of Law 4662/2020 (A’ 27).
(5) In particular, during the application of Article 27 of Law 4662/2020, in the case of non-removal of animals (companion or production) from a fenced area, provided that the owner of such animals has demonstrated that he is able to remove them, para .b” shall apply mutatis mutandis Article 24, paragraph 1.
(6) as of the effective date, the following are repealed:
(a) Article 12 of p.d. 44/2011 (A’110).
(b) Articles 1 to 23 of p.d. 4039/2012 (A’ 15).
(c) Paragraph 2 of Article 4 and Articles 6 and 7 of Law 1197/1981 (A’ 24).
(d) Paragraph 6 of Article 44 of Law 4384/2016 (A’ 78).
(e) Article 19 of Law 4674/2020 (A’ 53).
(f) Under No. 280262 /3.12.2003 joint decision of the Ministers of the Interior, Public Administration and the Ministers of Decentralization and Agriculture (B’ 1874).
(g) Any general or specific provision contrary to the provisions of this Agreement.
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