HOS starts a rabies vaccine and microchipping of shepherd dogs campaign in the area of Meteora

14.03.2016
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The Egyptian vulture has always been closely linked to livestock breeding. It feeds on the livestock’s carcasses, it takes its face’s unique orange colour from their droppings, it uses their wool to prepare its nest, why, it even sometimes nests just above the livestock’s shed! Livestock breeders on their side are especially fond of Egyptian vultures because they announce the arrival of spring and good weather, they clean the countryside from the carcasses stopping the spreading of diseases, while back in the good old days, when numbers were much higher, the birds would indicate the location of animals they had lost. Nowadays, the Egyptian vulture and the livestock breeders have a common enemy: poison baits! Only in the period 2014-2015 the Greek Antipoison Dog Units have found 35 poisoned shepherd dogs and this of course is only a small sample of what really is going on in the countryside.

Aware of the important role livestock breeders play in the conservation of the Egyptian vulture and also acknowledging the difficult times they are living, HOS has decided to support these important allies with a campaign that offers free rabies vaccines and microchipping of their dogs. In rural areas of Greece, or Bulgaria, or the Balkans in general, shepherd dogs are vital for the protection of the flocks mainly against wolves, and thus they are highly valued. The loss of these guarding dogs to poison, leaves the flocks unprotected for a long time until the shepherd is able to find and replace the lost dogs.

The campaign, which will take place in the area of Meteora, one of the two last strongholds left of the species in the country, started last Sunday, 6th of March. 18 shepherd dogs, both adults and puppies over 3 months old, were vaccinated and marked with microchip in the area of Chasia-Antichasia, close to Meteora. Livestock breeders were very satisfied with this initiative and one in fact named one of his dogs, a white puppy, “Asproparis” (Egyptian vulture in Greek). We hope that this new four-legged Egyptian vulture will carry on running around Chasia for many years to come and that his winged namesakes carry on roaming in the skies of Meteora!

The campaign will carry on for the following months, focusing in the areas around the last active nests of Egyptian vultures of Meteora.

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