The animal party lambasted the health ministry on Wednesday over its failure to make medicines available for cats amidst a surge of the fatal FIP virus.

It is an example of criminal behaviour to let cats die due to negligence or delay in procedures, the party said in its written statement.

The outbreak of feline infectious peritonitis, caused by the feline coronavirus, has resulted in the death of several cats with veterinarians and animal welfare organisations requesting for several human medicines to become available to treat felines. These concern drugs approved for coronavirus, such as remdesivir and mollupiravir, which have been previously used in felines, according to European regulations.

“We once again call on the health minister to speed up the procedures and make the pharmaceutical preparations available to veterinarians immediately.

“There are cats who suffer, are in pain, and die either alone or in the hands of their guardians. It is a shame, unfair, and an example of criminal behaviour to allow cats’ lives to be lost due to negligence or delay in procedures,” the animal party said.

It added that the availability of specific pharmaceutical preparations from the health ministry to veterinarians is a long-standing request, but they still waiting for a response.

“Let those responsible therefore take action,” the party noted.

A survey by the Pancyprian veterinary association among its members showed that in 2021 there were about 100 suspected cases of FIP, of which 36 were confirmed by laboratory methods. In 2022 there were about 220 of which 100 were confirmed.

The numbers have skyrocketed since then as in the first three months of this year there were 500 cases of which 105 were confirmed.

FIP was the cause of death in 30 per cent of cats that have died so far in Cyprus according to the head of the cats protection and welfare association Dinos Ayiomamitis.