ANIMAL lovers, campaigners and charity volunteers all came together to attend the first National Animal Welfare Conference which took part in Los Alcazares at the weekend.
The Proteccion Animales España (PAES) conference is believed to be the first of its kind in Spain and was the result of three animal welfare organisations from Murcia and Almeria; ACTIN, San Animal and Cruz Azul, collaborating together.
Lyn Baines, President of Cruz Azul said many charities often work in isolation but the conference was about bringing them together and allowing them to learn from the experts: “We wanted to get them under one roof and form a more cohesive group and a stronger voice that is going to improve animal welfare in the future.”
Lyn said the event had received a very positive response with 70 people registered to attend over the three days with delegates coming from across Spain. Speakers had ventured further afield attending from the UK, Holland, Belgium and France and involved leaders of the no-kill movement, experts in animal care and behaviour, marketing and fundraising experts, professionals from private and public animal welfare organisations, and more. They covered a range of topics and over the weekend, discussions and talks were held on the European microchip database; valuing volunteers; realities of running a shelter; animal abuse; education in schools; veterinary reports; staying within the law and animal protection from UPROMA, a new pioneering group of agents set up in Murcia specifically working on animal welfare.
Angela Hill-Jones, a tarot reader and volunteer for Actin said the event had been a long time coming: “I’m finding it very beneficial as I’m interested in animal welfare and it’s combined with a nice weekend away.”
Barbara and Jude had travelled to the conference from Cabo Roig where they are known as the ‘Costa Blanca Beach Cats’ where for over a decade they have been trapping and neutering and sterilising cats to prevent the widespread breeding of ferals: “It can be a lonely life trapping so we wanted to come and see what support there is as we are not a charity, we just do this ourselves and do a car boot to help raise funds to cover the costs. We don’t do it for recognition, just for the cats.”
For more information on PAES, visit www.proteccionanimales.es