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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-16

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek shepherd dog praised as conservation tool

  • [01] Greek shepherd dog praised as conservation tool

    Greek shepherd dogs -- a breed that had so far not received official recognition -- could prove a valuable aid and ally in protecting crops and livestock while also protecting wolves and brown bears, their natural but now endangered predators, according to the conservation and environmental advocacy group "Callisto" on Friday.

    The mention to the ancient but still unofficial canine breed came during a seminar held in Aridaia, in northwest Greece, on the issue of "large predators and damage to agricultural and livestock production".

    According to a Callisto representative, the Greek breed of shepherd dog was able to guard against attack from bears and wolves and had been widely used by traditional herding in previous centuries. The breed itself is now at risk of disappearing, however, because it had no official recognition and went unused, so that it was allowed to interbreed with other kinds of dogs freely.

    Constantine Godis noted that farmers now largely resorted to other methods to protect crops and livestock from bears and wolves, mainly by shooting them or laying down poisoned baits that are fatal to the predators.

    "Just this year in the Grevena (NW mountainous Greece) area we found four bears that had been killed," Godis added.

    He said bears chiefly attacked corn and grapes, beehives, sheep and goats and only rarely cows or horses, while the same livestock are game for wolves. The simplest solution for dealing with these attacks was the Greek shepherd dog, or alternatively, the use of electrified fences, especially for beehives.

    According to Godis, the state has now recognised the usefulness of such sheep dogs and was setting up a body to certify members of the breed and to subsidise its purchase by stockbreeders.

    Caption: A rare Greek shepherd dog is shown in this file photo dated Thursday, Oct. 26., 2006. ANA-MPA / SYMELA PANTZARTZI

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