The Animal Party has called on the government and the airports to increase safety measures during the transport of pets following the death of a kitten at Larnaca airport two weeks ago, an announcement said on Wednesday.
Earlier a group of protestors gathered outside the airport calling for increased safety for animals at Larnaca and Paphos airports. They requested a meeting with the Hermes airport heads.
The party informed airport officials about an online petition started by a Gloria Mew following the cat’s death that has been signed by over 22,000 people.
The party called on the Ministry of Transport, the airports and the police to better train staff to help passengers with animals.
“Clear Instructions (Greek, English, German, Dutch, Russian) should be written explaining to people carrying animals what the procedures are. Instructions should be visible and placed in a position where they can be seen and/ or handed out to the handlers,” the letter said.
The party added that animals that are travelling are already stressed and that they should be handled with calm and care.
“Provision should be made to ensure that the noise from machinery or from other sources be reduced to a minimum,” the party said.
Options for handlers should be in accordance with the EU regulations, the party said, adding that x-ray machinery used at airports should clearly indicated if they are pet-friendly.
“A safe room must be provided to allow animals travelling cargo to be held safely and securely while the travel box is being scanned,” the party said.
A few weeks ago, Animal Action Cyprus, a UK Registered Charity that helps rescue Cyprus strays, launched a petition calling on Hermes to provide a room where animals can be safely held during the scanning process without the opportunity to run off.
If they cannot provide that, then they need to purchase an X-ray machine that is safe for animals like the one at Heathrow Airport, the group said.
Another volunteer who witnessed the incident last week said it was bound to happen eventually as the room where the animals are taken is completely unsafe, and there have been several incidents in the past involving travelling pets but this was the first time an animal had died.