Cyprus Mail

Police chief meets animal welfare groups

Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou (Photo: Christos Theodorides)

By Evie Andreou

POLICE handling of animal abuse cases has already improved but more is expected, animal rights activists said after their meeting with police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou on Thursday.

Chrysostomou said that animals are an integral part of our eco-system and that they too have rights to life, health and welfare, just as humans.

“I am in favour of animal rights as well as human rights,” he said.

Chrysostomou said that the police, which are responsible for the enforcement of laws for the protection of rights, give great importance to issues concerning animals.

“It was a very good meeting, it is a step forward, we already have seen a change in the way police deals with animal abuse cases, but there is still much that needs to be done,” said Mary Anastasi, chairwoman of Cyprus Voice for Animals (CVA).

“Lately the police had to deal with a number of animal cruelty cases,” said Chrysostomou, which he called ‘abominable’ and thanked animal rights activists whose contribution very helps the police work.

“We have had many (animal abuse) incidents and we expect to see more prosecutions, more suspects brought to justice, more penalties,” Anastasi said.

Earlier in the week, Justice minister Ionas Nicolaou announced that he intended to designate a police officer in each district to coordinate actions against reports of animal abuse and pledged to give strict instructions to the police to fully investigate all cases of animal abuse.

Chrysostomou said that as part of police officers’ training, the police academy will host a conference on animal protection and the role of all social partners at the beginning of the next academic season.

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