Caring for animals is not a secondary issue, presidential candidate Averof Neophytou said on Friday during a visit to a cat-feeding station in Aglandjia in Nicosia.
The feeding station has been operated by the municipality for the past two and a half years and has helped to reduce the amount of uncontrolled feeding areas that causes problems to residents in various other areas.
In the presence of representatives of animal welfare organisations, with whom he discussed various problems and listened to their requests, Neophytou said that the care of stray animals was not a secondary issue for him.
In recent days, he said an issue has been raised with two different approaches. On the one hand there had been complaints about trash and dirt left behind by people feeding the strays demanding that it be stopped, and on the other hand, there was an approach that looked for ways to overcome the problems.
“For us there is no problem without a solution,” he said and congratulated the mayor of Aglandjia because on his own initiative the special park became a food point for strays with the help of volunteers.
In all, the municipality has set up 12 such stations within its boundaries.
“We have to apply this model all over Cyprus, in cooperation with the community leaders and the mayors,” he added.
Aglandjia Mayor, Andreas Constantinou, said that uncontrolled feeding was a problem in recent years, but added that the animals must be helped and that’s why his municipality had come up with a special area for cat-feeding.
He appealed to other municipalities to follow. The main solution however is the continued sterilisation of the vats and he appealed to the competent ministry to increase funding in this respect.
Vice president of the NGO Voice for Animals, Dinos Agiomammitis, said that the programme implemented by the municipality was a very important example and he believes the problems can be resolved with cooperation and good will.