By Evie Andreou
Everyone involved in animal abuse cases is accountable to justice, the Animal Party and Limassol police said on Tuesday.
Head of the Animal Party, Kyriacos Kyriacou said animal welfare issues need to be embedded in the political system.
“Over the last two years, we have witnessed barbaric and ruthless behaviour toward voiceless animals,” Kyriacou said.
He reiterated his party’s position that nothing will be swept under the carpet and that the party will make sure the right messages are being received by those responsible for enforcing the law.
“Citizens have the right to know what is taking place concerning animal welfare issues,” Kyriacou said.
Mentioning an abandoned dog, which led to the issue of the first ex-parte decree issued for an animal in January, the recent skinning of a cat in Paphos and the stabbing of a dog in Limassol,
Kyriacou said there are serious problems not just with pets but also with zoos, abattoirs, farms and the import of exotic animals.
“Another recent problem is the mysterious disappearance of dogs,” Kyriacou said, attributing it to dog fights.
Dog fights is an issue under investigation, Limassol police chief Kypros Michaelides said.
He added that after orders from headquarters, police have intensified efforts to clamp down on animal abuse and neighbourhood policemen are involved in the process as well as specially trained officers.
He said last year 18 serious cases concerning animal abuse were reported in Limassol, and two in 2015 but that many other cases do not become known either because there is no evidence or because people hesitate to proceed.
Michaelides also said the increase in reports was due to the joint efforts of the police, the Animal Party and animal welfare organisations that have increased their efforts.
“Maybe some people have not yet realised that we as Cyprus must look and act like a European country; unfortunately the latest incidents are such that do anything but honour us,” Michaelides said.
He said the campaign will continue and urged the public not to hesitate reporting incidents of animal abuse and not to be afraid that they will be engaging in procedural adventures, since they can either anonymously complain to the citizen’s hotline, 1460, or to promote a complaint by third parties, such as animal welfare organisations and the Animal Party.
Last week, a 64-year-old man was found guilty of killing his dog by tying it to a car and dragging it through the streets of Limassol on Christmas Day in 2013. He is to be sentenced on Friday.