Legislation surrounding animal welfare needs to undergo a huge overhaul, the Animal Party said on Tuesday during a meeting with Akel’s leadership.
The Animal Party, which is meeting with all political parties, began with Akel, where the controver-sial hunting bill which was passed into effect on June 30 was high on the agenda.
The party sought to share with Akel reactions from the EU, animal lovers and concerned citizens of Cyprus over the government bill on the protection of wild birds and game which critics say effec-tively decriminalises hunting with lime-sticks – branches covered in sap that the birds stick to.
Additionally, the Animal Party also said sentences on animal cruelty need to be harsher so as to effectively punish wrongdoers. The discussion also touched on the long time it takes for courts to actually pass a sentence but also brought up amending current legislation that says animals can be euthanised after 15 days.
An independent body to protect animals should be created and state funds towards animal shel-ters should be increased, the Animal Party told Akel.
More and more animals are being abandoned and there is an increasing trend of adopting and ex-porting animals to other European countries, the party said.
Fox hunting is also an issue that needs to be combatted and to this day, the Game Fund has yet to give the Animal Party a report proving an increase in the fox population of Cyprus despite repeated requests.
The report the party says it wants is one “that does not include the parts that link an ‘in-crease’ in the fox population with the reduction of partridges and hares.