A new animal welfare department which will fall under the responsibility of the veterinary services will be created following a cabinet decision on Wednesday, said Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis.
Speaking to reporters outside the presidential palace, Kouyialis said this was a very important decision and consequently, the veterinary services will be renamed as the veterinary services and animal welfare.
The service will handle all responsibilities that have to do with animals, changing the current system where duties were scattered across different government services.
“I am sure that with this decision there will be tangible and meaningful results,” Kouyialis said.
Local authorities will continue to have an important role in animal welfare, he added, while within three months, the interior ministry (which supervise local authorities) along with the agriculture ministry will submit bills to clarify the roles each ministry will have.
“I believe the culture is beginning to change slowly, slowly. There is great sensitivity surrounding animal welfare…as a state, we should offer people the tools that continue these efforts,” Kouyialis said.
He added that the creation of an animal police force will also help animal welfare.