Ahead of a protest on October 1 to mark World Animal Day, the Animal Party on Friday called for the immediate implementation on the island of laws and regulations concerning the protection and welfare of animals.

The party said it demands better animal welfare in Cyprus, along with “a more civilised society.”

It also published a list of demands, calling, among other things, for the prosecution of people who abuse, abandon and neglect animals or who destroy or vandalise animal feeding or drinking areas.

“We also call on the state to create a special branch of inspectors from the Vet Services who will be tasked with overseeing the implementation of animal welfare laws and see that slaughterhouses and zoos operate correctly,” the statement said.

Other demands included were regular training programmes for staff members of the Vet Services, the Animal Police, which it called to be thoroughly strengthened, and local authorities, which they said need to create facilities to host strays.

“We also want the abolishment of the barbaric practice of euthanising healthy but unwanted dogs, which most local authorities are practicing,” the Animal Party said.

“Moreover, we require the introduction of the obligation to tag dogs from two months of age and incentives offered to owners to sterilise them, as well as an effective stray cat neutering programme,” the statement concluded.

World Animal Day is celebrated around the world on October 4, the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.