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Cyprus

Court fine for beating defencless puppy is ‘unacceptable’ (Updated)

By Evie Andreou

A man found guilty in August of animal abuse after brutally beating a stray puppy, later christened Thunder, in 2012 leaving it paralysed, was fined €1,000 on Wednesday by the Nicosia district court, a penalty the Cyprus Animal Party called unacceptable.

Animal Party leader Kyriacos Kyriacou said that despite welcoming the guilty verdict in August, the court on Wednesday had shown too much leniency, he said.

According to Kyriacou, the perpetrator was slapped with the €1,000 fine. He believes the court’s decision was not a deterrent.

“It is unacceptable and it sends out the wrong message. This means that the court gives the right to anyone to assault a defenceless dog and get away with it with a €1,000 fine,” Kyriacou said.
The party plans to appeal the decision, and will also contact the attorney-general’s office asking for his opinion on the issue.

The Green party also requested the attorney-general appeals the decision expressing its dissatisfaction saying “we consider that such penalties are not discouraging in preventing these kinds of incidents from being repeated and certainly do not honour our society, which unfortunately is being punctuated by incidents of animal abuse.”

It called on the Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou to implement an animal police law that was voted for on June 12, 2012 that authorities are essentially sidelining, the party said in a statement.

The attack took place in the Nicosia village of Ayia Varvara. The man attacked the five-month old puppy, which had been playing with children. He reportedly kept picking it up and hitting it on the edge of the pavement repeatedly in a maniacal manner, in the presence of the children.

The puppy was rushed to a vet and was in a coma for several days due to a brain haemorrhage. He also had to undergo several operations and was later adopted by a young couple from Nicosia.

The court heard that the man claimed he attacked the puppy because it had bitten his three-year-old daughter but witnesses said that no such thing happened.

“The law stipulates that the maximum penalty for cruelty to animals is one year in prison and or an €1,700 fine. After three years of court hearings and many witnesses, he wasn’t even asked to pay the maximum penalty of €1,700,” Kyriacou said.

In March, a 66-year-old man was jailed for two months for killing his dog by tying it to a car and dragging it through the streets of Limassol on Christmas day in 2013.

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