The Animal Party on Saturday said it disapproved of sending the Savannah cat that recently attacked a three-year-old boy to the Limassol Zoo.

The cat had reportedly escaped its Limassol residence before attacking the child, who subsequently required hospital treatment.

Regarding the animal’s relocation to the zoo, the party alleges that the formal procedures applicable to such cases were circumvented, adding that animal’s physical and emotional needs were not taken into consideration.

“It was not taken into account that this particular animal was treated as a pet all this time, resulting in the animal developing the corresponding character and behaviours,” the party said.

“It lived with its guardian, it was cared for and depended on its guardian, it learned about living inside a home and learned of its coexistence with people as a member of their family,” the party added.

Furthermore, it said the animal cannot live in its natural environment.

Citing information given to them, the party said that the cat will be moved to the Limassol Zoo, where it will be in common view of any visitors.

The party called on Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis to verify that the relevant animal welfare laws were adhered to and that the state veterinary services followed the correct procedures.

“The Animal Party is waiting for immediate answers to the above questions and we also want an extensive investigation to find out who finally gave or did not give permission for the cat to pass through the checkpoints of the Republic of Cyprus or whether some did or did not turn a blind eye,” the party said.

The party said it will ask that the agriculture minister to facilitate the relocation of the cat back to its owner under tough restrictions, including daily checks by the state veterinary services, until the case is resolved.

“Otherwise we will hold the above people responsible if the wildcat dies, either due to depression or because it is not able to acclimatise to its new place of detention,” the party said.

“We also note that in no case are innocent animals to blame and therefore should not be victimised, but the responsibility and all of the consequences should be borne by the people and all those involved in this case,” the party concluded.