The Current Situation in Spain
In the picturesque landscapes of Spain, where sangría and flamenco capture the attention of many, there exists a dark, cruel, and often overlooked reality – the pervasive abuse of galgos who are primarily used for hunting hares.
The mistreatment and torment begins with systematic breeding practices designed to produce the fastest dogs for hunting purposes. This results in overpopulation and the subsequent abandonment of those who do not meet the expectations of the hunters (galgueros).
The galgos are subjected to a range of atrocities: starvation, beatings, abandonment without food or shelter in desolate areas, hanging, burning, torture, and mass killings. Most of them have to endure inconceivable suffering at the hands of their owners. Those who are not abandoned, tormented, or killed, are very often defenselessly exposed to deplorable living conditions. They may be kept in cramped spaces, such as small cages, dark sheds, and caves – without proper shelter, social interaction, or adequate and sufficient nutrition. Shocking hygienic living conditions complete the dismal picture.
An annual hunting season in Spain extends from October to February. Once the season ends, countless galgos are deemed disposable and callously discarded. Pain and terror continue throughout the whole year, however.
Since galgos are not recognized as companion animals, they are particularly vulnerable. In March 2023, the Spanish Congress passed a new law; it offers no protection for galgos.
Individuals and organized groups are working to raise awareness and to advocate for change; they are pressuring the government to strengthen the legislation. Meanwhile, rescue organizations work to heal, rehabilitate, and find loving homes for these innocent and abused dogs who deserve respect, care, and affection.
The abuse of galgos in Spain is a dark stain on the country’s cultural heritage. Only by ending the suffering of so many noble and proud animals, can Spain truly embrace compassion and justice for its galgos.