Source: Press release
Cyprus Voice for Animals will be holding a demonstration in front of the presidential palace on Saturday, October 1st. The animal welfare organization is calling on the government to, among other things, train and empower the Animal Police so that they can strictly enforce animal welfare laws that are already in place in Cyprus.
Cases of animal abuse have come to light in recent years in addition, the number of stray dogs on the island is rising and is said to be close to 250,000 island-wide, and this number does not include the millions of stray cats, and only a fraction of these animals are rehomed when sent to a shelter.
Shelters, however, continue to be filled to the brim, only exacerbated by the pandemic, during which many people adopted dogs in order to be able to take advantage of the allowed outdoor time to walk their pets. Many of these pets were sent to shelters after the restrictions were lifted and a number of them were euthanized due to the lack of space.
Animal welfare in Cyprus should be a top priority and owners should be held accountable for the treatment of their pets and animals they own.
The press release as stated below:
BE THEIR VOICE!
Saturday 1st of October, 2022 at 17.00 outside the Presidential Palace
Let’s unite our voices for Animal Welfare in Cyprus. Let’s move towards a more civilized society! We demand basic moral values be established. Enough is enough!
We demand the immediate implementation of the Animal Welfare and Protection Law
WE DEMAND :
1. Prosecution and punishment of :
- Civilians who abuse or neglect animals
- Civilians who abandon their pets/animals
- Those who destroy community feeding/watering stations of community and housing of animals (cat colonies and others)
- We demand animal abuse be considered a felony
2. Creation of a special unit of inspectors with the Veterinary Services to :
- Oversee the implementation of the Animal Welfare Law
- To enforce EU directives as well as Cyprus Animal Welfare Laws for animals (farm animals, slaughterhouses, pet animals, zoos (until they are shut down), or animals on any other premises.
3. Regular training courses for all the staff members of all official/ responsible authorities involved in the implementation of the Law (Vet services, Animal, Police Unit, Local Authorities)
4. The empowerment of the Animal Police Unit
- Must be a separate and autonomous service
- Must be adequately staffed by people with relevant experience, education and training on the subject
- Must be equipped with all the necessary tools and facilities
- Must be exclusively tasked with the implementation of Animal Welfare Law
5. Local Authorities to provide proper dog pounds (for abandoned or owner-surrendered dogs) according to the law and provide necessary services and care since they are the official authority to enforce the Dog Law
6. Ban euthanasia in dog pounds as hundreds of healthy yet abandoned/unclaimed dogs are euthanized every year
7. Microchipping and registration of all dogs from the age of 2 months old and effective control by the local authorities
8. Incentives for dog owners to sterilize their animal companions
9. Effective stray cat sterilization programs by the state. 100,000 euros per year is a drop in the ocean and inadequate to face the huge problem. A grant of at least 500,000 euros per year should be allocated with a 5-7 year action plan necessary. Incentives for local authorities to invest more funds into their own community cat sterilization programs
10. Ban caging of any animals (dogs, farm animals, etc)
11. Creation of an autonomous ANIMAL CONTROL AND WELFARE service which will oversee and be responsible for all above or Commissioner for Animal Rights and Welfare
12. Introduce Animal Welfare Lessons in all schools in order to sensitize children and create a society that promotes empathy, volunteerism and spirit