State policies must protect animals, the Green party said on Saturday after unknown culprits allegedly beheaded a cat from the Yeri cemetery cat sanctuary and placed its head at the grave of an animal volunteer’s mother.

The animal police, who are investigating the case, believe this might be an animal attack, while locals have specific suspects in mind.

The head of a decapitated kitten was found at the grave of the mother of a volunteer who feeds the felines at the Yeri cemetery, while another cat was found with its eye gouged out on Thursday night.

One of the volunteers, Maria Kyriacou, who shared the incident on social media, said that in the past, certain people had attempted to destroy the cat sanctuary. The suspects, who are known to Kyriacou, had before Easter this year stolen a cat house donated by the municipality, while last year they took items bought by the volunteers to feed the strays.

She told the Sunday Mail that broken toothpicks were also found at the scene.

The case was reported to the police on Friday.

Head of animal police Vyronos Vyronos told the Sunday Mail that there are no specific persons of interest in connection with the case.

“It might be an animal attack, a fox or some other animal.

“If it’s a criminal act it is probably someone from the cemetery who is disturbed that people are feeding cats there,” Vyronos said.

The head of the cat was taken for a necropsy which is expected to determine whether this was an animal attack or was carried out by humans.

But, since there were specific people who were threatening cats, this means there are suspects, coordinator of the green party action group for animal rights, Anthi Mouzouri, said.

“Certainly, we are talking about sick minds, no human with empathy will do such a thing,” she noted.

“There is zero animal welfare in Cyprus. Whoever wants to, abuses animals and they are not penalised. Some drastic political decisions must be taken because the situation is out of control,” she said.

As for the animal police, Mouzouri said that only the Limassol branch is working as intended. For the rest of the districts, it is like the animal police does not exist, she said.

“To be part of the animal police, one must love animals,” she declared, as she chastised Nicosia police for failing to update complainants on animal abuse cases, citing GDPR concerns and personal data.

An independent body must be established under the police, and together with animal activists, to investigate such cases, Mouzouri said.

The Green Party is planning to request a meeting with the competent government officials to discuss animal welfare.