The GalgoPlatform is a lobby and advocacy platform for foundations who represent the interests of galgos and podencos. These Spanish hunting dogs are subjected to horrific practices in the hunt. In some parts of Spain, hunting dogs face legal exclusion from basic rights and protection. The European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals is closely following the development of the situation of the galgos and podencos, since they are being deprived of their rights as Sentient Beings (Article 13 Lisbon Treaty). The director of the Spanish Dirección General de Derechos de los Animales, Sergio Garcia Torres, is aiming to improve the miserable situation of the galgos and podencos.
The galgolobby is a developed lobby in Europe, where these dogs are much exploited for their specific characteristics as sight hounds, including their speed and hunting abilities. Galgos are traditionally used for hare coursing on the countryside and sometimes on enclosed tracks.
A very important development is that the galgo-lobby also represents the podenco: ‘The Great Forgotten’. Podencos are mostly used and abused in the Rehalas and Monterias: the driven hunt. The number of podencos greatly exceeds the number of galgos in Spain. These dogs live mostly hidden in dark and filthy barns on one meter chains.
Many galgos and podencos lose their life when being discarded by their galgueros once the hunting season is over. Rescue organisations try to convince galgueros to allow them to take care of their no longer wanted galgos and podencos. Campaigning on awareness that galgos and podencos are family dogs, and not only “useful” for hunting, also helps bridge the big gap between the hunting industry and the rescues. But there is still a long way to go.