As World Day for Animals was marked on Sunday with environmental and animal welfare organisations renewing their calls to the state to fulfill promises to formulate policies to control the situation in Cyprus.
The Green Party called again for the creation of an animal police unit and stricter penalties for abusers. On Wednesday a man was fined only 1,000 euros for cruelly beating a puppy three years ago, when the maximum fine was almost double that.
“We urge the government to implement effective policies to tackle the problem of the abandonment of dogs and the increased number of stray dogs,” the party said in a statement. It also referred to stray cats and said a viable sterilisation programme needed to be implemented.
It also called for an end to the uncontrolled importation of exotic animals and effect better controls on “so-called zoos” in Cyprus and to offer more funding to animal welfare organisations and shelters. More control was also needed in the agricultural sector, the party said.
Pets should also have designated spaces such as parks and beaches, and the laws pertaining to owners such as keeping their dogs in check and cleaning up after them in public places m also needed better implementation, the party said.
It called for the creation of special body made up of authorities and NGOs to define and monitor animal policies.
“Today situation in matters of animal in Cyprus, unfortunately brings to mind the words of the great Mahatma Gandhi, and shows us the greatness of our country is being held back because of our behaviour towards animals,” the party said.
A quote attributable to Gandhi says: ‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated’.
“It is not enough every time to have to remind the state and the competent authorities of their obligations in these matters. There is plenty of legislations so can someone tell us why the situation continues?” the statement added.
It said probably because there was no animal-friendly mentality in Cyprus. “Many animals are left helpless, ill or injured. Often hunters abandon their dogs after the hunting seasons and irresponsible pet owners abandon them once they are bored.”
It added that the vacuum created by the state has only been filled by volunteer organisations who try with little means to operate animal shelters but even that is not enough because they are so full, most of the dogs are eventually euthanised, it added.
The Animal Party in a statement said World Day for Animals was not a day for celebrations in Cyprus but a day of reflection for people to consider their responsibilities, obligations and how they treat animals and the environment in general.
From Sunday, the party said it had launched itself on social media where the public could report any animal abuse cases anonymously or otherwise.
Twitter – animalpareportCY
Facebook – Animal Party Cyprus APC
Telephone line 70078080
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