Strays in Nicosia are suffering in the heatwave as “unconscientious” individuals are removing food and water bowls put out by volunteers, the Environmental Movement said on Tuesday.

Animal activists and workers in factories in the industrial area of Strovolos are placing containers with water and food for the various stray cats of the area, but they have been removed as quickly as the same day.

“For the umpteenth time, this week also, unconscientious people have destroyed the improved structure built by local animal lovers within the Strovolos Industrial area on Pangratiou street,” the Environmental Movement said.

This was aimed to protect local cats and kittens from extreme high temperatures recorded in recent weeks, reaching up to 44C.

“Animals suffer in the heatwave and without food and water they cannot endure, just like people,” the movement added.

Similar incidents have been reported in different areas of the island.

The movement said that according to the complaints they have received, municipal workers have also visited the site and removed the feeding dishes, and called on the local authority to put into practice their “fine words”.

Earlier this year, Strovolos municipality announced “ambitious plans” to support animal welfare organisations, citing animal abandonments and overcrowded shelters. In recent years, wooden houses have been placed at the linear park where volunteers have been feeding stray cats but a pack of dogs was reported as killing the cats a few months ago.

Meanwhile, two dog parks have been established in the municipality, one of which accommodates smaller dogs.

Lashing out against the Strovolos Mayor Andreas Papacharalambous, the groups said that “crime is not only about ‘animal abandonment’. It is also a crime to tear down improvised structures when there is no care for the animals by the competent authority.”

Kittens and other stray animals are in immediate danger and will not wait for the implementations of a “local Strategic Plan for animal welfare”, they added.

“We call on both the Strovolos Municipality and other local authorities to actively support individuals, initiative groups and animal welfare and environmental organisations in their actions for the protection and welfare of animals,” the announcement said.