By Jean Christou
THE Animal Party of Cyprus (APC) has announced it would hold its first congress on April 27 at the Philoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia.
An announcement said the party hoped that either President Nicos Anastasiades or a representative from the government would attend. German and Dutch members of their respective animal parties have also been invited, APC said.
APC aims to give animals a voice and provide people who are concerned with animal welfare with a political platform.
The statement said the party’s mandate would address such issues as proper registration and microchipping of pets, and sterilisation programmes to reduce the number of pets being abandoned.
“The number of homeless and abandoned dogs in Cyprus has reached critical levels,” APC said. Current fines and prison sentences were not a deterrent, it said. A similar situation prevailed when it came to cats, the party said. “That situation is out of control”.
Another issue that needed to be resolved were the number of unlicensed zoos and animal parks and the almost-unregulated import of exotic animals.
The treatment of livestock would also be on the agenda.
“After a short and miserable life in farms with no natural light, millions of animals are slaughtered to end up as cheap meat in supermarkets,” APC said.
“APC wants to see the end of intensive industrial farming, and instead see more humane systems.” It suggested the amount of land devoted to organic farming be increased through subsidisation, and the amount of industrial fertilisers and chemicals be drastically reduced and replaced by biological and organic alternatives .
On the island’s wildlife, APC said much of it has come under threat from poaching, poisoning, development, forest fires, droughts and climate change.
“We would like to see nature in Cyprus receive the priority it deserves,” the party concluded.
The April 27 congress will begin at 11am. For more information contact: 99416852, website: www.animalpartycyprus.com, FB: ANIMAL PARTY CYPRUS, email: [email protected]
Meanwhile, a group of independent candidates have also got together to pool resources and combine efforts ahead of the May 25 Euro-elections under the banner ‘Message of Hope’.
The group will hold a press conference tomorrow at the Journalists Union building in Nicosia at 11am to present the six MEP candidates and their manifesto.
During the conference, people from various walks of life will give a talk, including head of the University of Nicosia board Nicos Peristianis and former energy director Solon Kassinis.
According to the Message of Hope Facebook page, the six MEP candidates are: Dr Giorgos Georgiou, academic at the University of Nicosia; Dr Marios Evriviades, academic at Panteion University of Athens; Natalie Ioannou, deputy head of the Zygos movement; Dr Yiangos Mikellides, psychiatrist; Dr Stelios Platis, economist; and, Dr Vasilis Christodoulou, clinical psychologist.