Though legislation is in place banning offering animals as prizes at traditional Kazanti stalls, police are unable to seize the animals as per the law due to the inexistence of a space where seized animals can be kept, the animal party said on Friday.
“The hands of the police are tied as regards the implementation of the law that requires that animals are confiscated from Kazanti stalls,” the party said, noting that this “leads to the conclusion that the state itself is breaking the law, while leaving those who commit the crimes free and intact.”
Owners of the Kazanti – a traditional Cypriot numbers game usually in a form of a mobile stall where players shoot a small metal ball on a makeshift pinball apparatus and win a prize if the ball lands on their chosen number – often offer animals as prizes including rabbits, birds, fishes, and jars containing pickled ampelopoulia, a controversial small bird on the island, the hunting of which is illegal.
According to the animal party, the police file reports against those who continue to break the law, though they are unable to enforce all parameters of it, “because there are no legal designated spaces where the animals can be held.”
Kazanti owners therefore only face fines.
According to Animal Party leader Kyriakos Kyriakou, the party has in recent days been dealing with a case of animals being sold at a Kazanti stall in Kiti, though all that could be done by the police was to issue consecutive fines against the owner.
As of Monday, the Animal Party will be reaching out to several ministries to find a solution to the problem, it told the Cyprus Mail.
“We have a suggestion, and have one space in mind that could be temporarily used as an animal holding centre,” Kyriakou said.
Upon seizing the animals, Kyriakou said, “they would be held at the designated location until the case is finalised, before releasing the animals either to zoos or to animal welfare organisations, for example.”
Kazanti stalls are often seen at festivals, cultural events, and public squares where large crowds of people gather.