By Constantinos Psillides
TRADITIONAL political parties taking part in the European Parliament elections next May will have one more opponent to overcome, as animal lovers will be establishing a new party that aims at improving conditions for all animals in Cyprus.
According to a statement received by the Cyprus mail, goal of the Animal Party Cyprus (APC) is to give animals a voice and provide people who are concerned with animal welfare with a political platform.
“People in Cyprus are aware that every day, animals innocent of any crime are being made to suffer. Some people spend a great deal of time and money rescuing, getting medical treatment for and feeding homeless companion animals, or rescuing caged exotic (non-domestic) animals. Many of these animals are sent abroad. Other people express their anger and frustration in street demonstrations. And thousands stand back feeling powerless, not knowing what to do,” the statement declared.
Although the party isn’t officially formed yet, it is expected to take shape next week after two open meetings scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday’s open meeting at 10.30am will be held at the Paralimni Municipality hall while Sunday’s meeting will be held at 11.30a. at the Crown Resort hotel in Paphos.
Meetings are also scheduled for Limassol and Nicosia within the next few days. Provided the movement gathers enough support, a political party will be formed and its first goal will be to take part in the EP elections on May 25.
Asked whether they are hoping to secure one of the six parliamentary seats, one of the movement’s members Kyriakos Kyriakou told the Cyprus Mail that the goal is to get the ball rolling on animal rights issues, forcing the parties to take a clear stand.
Kyriakou is optimistic when it comes to public support, saying that new members are being added daily.
The need to create an animal welfare party arose after a string of horrific cases that came to light in the past three months. One case involved an owner tying his dog to the back of his car and dragging it through downtown Limassol, another was a hunting dog being shot in the face and left for dead, and also the case of an animal shelter that let its dogs die of starvation.