The Animal Party expressed its “disgust and outrage” on Friday after images surfaced of kittens which had been “brutally tortured and killed” in a cemetery in Larnaca.

“There can be no civilisation and moral progress in a European and privileged country if its people do not show the same respect to weak creatures and to those which seek protection and love,” the party said.

The cats were reportedly found dead at the Ayios Georgios cemetery in Larnaca on Thursday. According to the Green Party, there were a total of 12 found dead.

They described the incident as “brutal” and said it “confirms the perennial need to create and implement a police department to deal with crimes against animals”.

Additionally, they added that the creation of such a department had initially been the idea of former President Nicos Anastasiades, but that it “remained not done”.

“When will we finally stop abusing animals and act like humans? A society which wants to be called civilised must respect every form of life and especially animals,” the party added.

“It is truly unacceptable to tolerate such acts of violence against animals. The state must protect them immediately”.