As Cyprus scrambles to draw up a list of animals permitted to be sold at pet shops, and by extension which pets the public can keep at home, the parliamentary environment committee is pushing for certain farm animals, such as donkeys, horses, pigs, and sheep, which are currently included in the list, to be available for purchase only in appropriate circumstances.
The list, the first of the kind to be drawn up in Cyprus, was discussed among the committee’s MPs on Wednesday.
Speaking after the session, deputy chairman Charalambos Theopemptou said the discussion, which he said was long overdue, focused on particular issues regarding the care of animals, the dimensions of cages, which animals can be sold in shops, which can be kept at home as pets, pet shop inspections, and animal welfare in general.
“It’s a little bit weird that according to this general list, I have the right to have a horse, a donkey, a pig, sheep, and goats in my backyard,” Theopemptou said, adding that “I propose we draw up another list allowing me to have a donkey wandering about in the garden, given that I live in certain areas and I won’t be bothering my neighbours. To set a series of prerequisites, that clarify whether I’m allowed to have these animals in my garden.”
He explained that it’s very different for a resident of a city centre to have pigs and goats from a person who has these animals in a garden “the size of two football fields.”
Theopemptou noted that the specific discussion had begun back in 2008, and after several rounds of talks the Republic was finally close to regulating the sale of animals, with the committee currently attempting to match the list with any rules in place by local authorities which permit or forbid certain animals.
On the list being finalised, Theopemptou said several organizations have filed suggestions on which animals should be sold at pet shops, but noted that the list undoubtedly includes much fewer animals than those currently available for sale.
“Currently, there are no limits to what animals can be sold, as there is a general understanding that someone can have any animal given that they can ensure its wellbeing,” he said.