The agriculture ministry on Tuesday said they would delay acting on a court order to demolish six livestock farms in Limassol following protests by local breeders.
More than two weeks ago, a court order was issued to demolish the specific farms, despite the fact 40 farms are considered to have been operating illegally for more than ten years. The decision was taken after a developer showed interest in transforming a nearby piece of land into a residential area.
The Panagrotikos farmers’ union had a meeting at the agriculture ministry on Tuesday morning following a protest by local breeders outside parliament, where the latter said actions would be postponed, Tasos Yiapanis, head of the association, told the Cyprus Mail.
The fate of the farms will be further discussed on December 2. Meanwhile, the agriculture and interior ministries along with Kato Polemidia municipality, where the farms are, and the breeders will need to prepare their suggestions on the creation of new farms.
Farmers in Kato Polemidia gathered outside the town hall on October 15 to express their anger caused by the court order to demolish the farms, hosting 2,500 animals. Mayor of Kato Polemidia Nikos Anastasiou said the municipality had no choice but to respect the law and denounce the illegal farms.
Cabinet issued a decision in 2007 to move the farms from Kato Polemidia which was never implemented.
The freeze on animal transfer procedures in 2013 combined with the lack of approval for new licences delayed the move even more.
Farmers demanded their transfer be funded by the government and that a new place for the livestock should have been approved before deciding to destroy the current farms.
Local farmers and the Kato Polemidia mayor have suggested the livestock be moved to Vati, which will ensure cheaper water supply connections. The expenses will come up to €250,000 for the creation of a road to connect Vati with the already existing farms.
The government however, proposed to build new farms in Kato Polemidia and Ipsona municipalities, which might cost over €10 million, argued the mayor.
Chairman of the House agriculture committee Andros Kafkalias, along with MPs George Georgiou (Akel) and Panikos Leonidou (Diko), who were present at the protest, supported the demands of the farmers.
“It is really unfair and illogical,” said Leonidou on Tuesday, referring to the authorities’ decision to allow livestock and residential development in the same area.