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Animal cruelty

Dear Editor, One important topic for residents in Portugal that I cannot find addressed is the protection of animals. I think that besides the dangerous driving, it is the second horrible thing that we have to experience here.

So my question is: Where can we address to report abuse? Is there a reader who has an answer?

Two examples: 1. When we visited the Carnival of Loulé we were shocked about a horse-carriage as part of the procession with the title “alternative to petrol”. Due to the amount of people and the noise, the horse was extremely terrified. In mortal fear it tried to escape and the persons on and around the carriage were just smiling and barely avoiding a serious accident by a rampant horse in a festival crowd.

Even if the council does not care about the horse, for health and safety reasons this must not be allowed.

Secondly, we have to witness how our neighbours keep their very young dog on the small balcony. The dog does not understand why it has to be outside and barks the whole time. Therefore the owner and her child come out every few minutes to kick and beat the baby dog hard with a stick. It is a horrible sight and my Portuguese is not sufficient to comment on that!

I am sure all your readers witness these cruelties regularly. So who can we all turn to? What can each of us do to do our fair share to stop animal cruelty?

Christian Mertens,

by email

Editor’s note: Dear Christian, the GNR police have a special department to deal with matters related to the environment and animal welfare, called SEPNA. Please call your local GNR if you wish to make a complaint about animal cruelty, but please be prepared to become a witness in the case.