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Striving Towards Collaboration – a Successful Conference 2017

Challenging the Iceberg

Over the weekend of 25th-26th February 2017, the PAES Conference 2017 - Challenging the Iceberg, was held in El Verger, and was a great success both in attendance and the networking that went on during the two days. We do feel that the Iceberg was successfully challenged, and those in attendance had a better idea of how to solve the problems at the tip of the iceberg, by tackling the much bigger problems under the surface.

The Conference and Seminar was opened by Enrique from the Town Hall who represented the current Mayor of El Verger who sadly was unable to attend. He was followed by Josep Basili Salort Bertomeu who will take over as Mayor in April and who was genuinely interested in our work. We also had the Chief of Police in El Verger, Miguel García Olivares in attendance. He listened intently to the speakers and spoke with passion at the end of the morning session about working together and that there are laws to guard the welfare of animals. One successful outcome of the Conference was that the Chief of Police wants to hold one of Raquel's legal courses for his own police to attend, this is the kind of success that we want to achieve in all areas.

The three speakers, Raquel Teruel Animal Welfare Lawyer from DeAnimals, Pedro Moratalla from UPROMA (Special animal welfare unit of the local police in Castellon) and Juan Antonio Ferrer from the Local Police in Murcia, spoke about their work in Animal Welfare and their local communities and generated a lot of interest and questions that were then discussed at length during the afternoon seminar.

Left to Right: Chief of Police Miguel García Olivares, Raquel Teruel Lawyer DeAnimals, Josep Basili Salort Bertomeu Teniente-Alcade, Barry Caulfield ACTIN Vice President

It was fantastic to have over 20 Associations represented at the event, all bringing to the conference their questions as well as their own skills and knowledge in Animal Welfare. We hope to take things forward over the next year using this collective knowledge and skills.

The main question that came up during the Conference was how do we all work together WITH the authorities, to make things better for animals in Spain? This was put to the audience during the final seminar session on Sunday morning and we discussed ways in which we could all come together, share our knowledge, and make positive moves to solve some of the issues in the near future.

Nicki Hastings, President of ACTIN (the founding Association of the PAES project) would like to thank all those involved in the organisation of the Conference, the volunteer event team from SCAN who helped with the refreshments, Bar Utopia from El Verger for the fantastic lunch provided for the delegates, Nicola Middendorf for her work translating during the two days, and to Barry Caulfield, (Vice President/Treasurer of ACTIN and President of SCAN) for leading the Conference and Seminar and providing everyone an opportunity to speak.

We are looking forward to bringing you more news about our progress this year. If you are part of an association and are interested in joining the PAES project please sign up to our newsletter to be informed of how to get involved, this information will be coming soon.

(Photographs courtesy of imageyourworld.com)