Cyprus Mail

Animal Party demands conclusions on death of savannah cat


The Animal Party on Sunday demanded answers from the agriculture ministry over the delay in issuing the conclusions of how savannah cat Berton died more than a month after a post-mortem was carried out.

The party said it considers “unacceptable and inexplicable the filibustering by the veterinary services” regarding the issuance of the conclusions. The post-mortem was carried out on August 12.

Berton was handed over to the state’s veterinary services on May 13 after he had escaped from his owner and allegedly attacked a three-year-old boy.

The cat was taken to Limassol zoo where its condition deteriorated. However, it was later reported that the cat had undergone a surgery for a bowel obstruction. After the surgery, on August 1, authorities transferred Berton to Paphos zoo in Peyia, which was deemed a more suitable place. A week later, the cat was found dead.

The Animal Party demanded to know how director of the Veterinary Service Christodoulos Pipis and Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis stand on the delay.

The party also questioned whether there were other reasons the conclusions are being delayed.

“Berton was a rare animal with economic value, which we believe some wanted to exploit,” the party said.

It has already said that the director of the Veterinary service should not be leading the investigation. “We are saddened to see that to this day the director, who, according to us, may have been primarily responsible for Berton’s death, remains in office to this day,” it added, suggesting that by staying in his position he could affect the outcome of the investigation.

The cat’s body should at least be returned to its owner so he can bury it as he wishes, the party said.

In August Paphos police spokesman Michalis Nicolaou said the post mortem had shown some findings which were to be evaluated.

The authorities, aside from investigating the owner’s responsibility over the incident, were also looking into whether the animal was legally imported or not and trying to figure out its actual breed.

Although the cat’s papers say it was a savannah cat, the veterinary services say it was an African serval, a wild animal that was brought in illegally. A savannah cat is a mix of serval and a domestic cat and is legal. Both animals have different temperaments and needs.


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