Over the past 24 years, as the first and only Cypriot NGO advocating on behalf of non-human animals of all species, and disseminating at no charge humane education materials to thousands of children, Animal Responsibity Cyprus (ARC/Kivotos) has had much exposure to the Cyprus media. Of course, TV appearances, participation in radio phone-ins, newspapers publishing our articles have all been very welcome. At no cost the message of compassion is spread to the Cypriot public.
However, it has to be said that the level of journalism leaves much room for improvement. Usually interviewers have carried out zero research; thus their simplistic questions ensure that the subject of animal suffering remains on the most superficial level. Each of our appearances on television is accompanied by repeating background reels of footage of dogs running up and down. Never does the dialogue encompass the extreme suffering undergone, for example, of sows (female pigs) imprisoned in metal cages attached to the ground so that their young can suckle before all being slaughtered to be eaten by ‘animal lovers’ and others. Piglets’ testicles and tails cut off without anaesthetics, chickens’ beaks sliced off, slaughterhouse abuse – the list is endless.
One lives in hope, but the most egregious example of lazy journalism yet – I am sorry to say – appeared in last Sunday’s Mail. The article ‘Saying it Hot’, which profiled singer and journalist Sarah Fenwick cites her as saying that the Ayia Napa dolphins ‘were released much to her delight and astonishment’.
Well, actually the four dolphins died in agony, mercifully released from their short lives of suffering from appalling stress and abuse. ARC/Kivotos led the campaign to successfully put an end to this abusive industry in Cyprus.
This was a very interesting and important case, exposing corruption at the highest level, together with apathy and lies from the then chief veterinary officer and the demand for the then minister of agriculture to resign. Anyone interested may check the Cyprus Mail archive article.
Patricia Radnor Kyriacou, Co-founder ARC/Kivotos, Limassol