“The greatness of a nation and its moral evolution
could be judged by the way its animals are treated”

Mahatma Gandhi

From the up today situation on animal protection and welfare matters in Cyprus unfortunately the words of great Mahatma Gandhi show us that the greatness of our country and of our citizens has been judged negatively because our behavior towards animals is not the proper one and does not honor anyone.

As long as we continue as cognitive and thinking people to solve our interpersonal differences by poisoning animals or by mistreating them, then we are far behind and have a long way to go.

It not enough to identify and remind the State and the proper authorities every now and then of their obligations in these matters. We have plenty of legislations. Then, could somebody tell us why this situation continues?

Unfortunately in Cyprus there is a serious problem with animal welfare. There is no animal friendly consciousness. Many animals are abandoned helpless, ill or injured. Often hunters abandon their dogs at the end of the hunting season. Irresponsible pet owners abandon their pets when they don’t need them anymore. Many pets and other animals are left helpless to die.

Abandoned animals cause damage to properties, carry diseases and become dangerous. State’s lack of interest has been covered (replaced) by voluntary organizations and volunteers. All these organizations try, with minimal means and meagre financial assistance from the State, to operate animal shelters. Unfortunately this is not the best situation. Because of the vast number of animals that are kept in shelters, shelters become unsuitable, and in many cases euthanasia is used.

Dogs law should be enforced and a legal framework should be created for other pets too, so to prevent their abandonment. Animal shelters should function for temporary accommodation of lost, abandon, injured or ill animals.

The Green Party as a firm supporter of volunteers’ and animal lovers’ struggle, achieved a series of actions concerning the survival of animal shelters. Some of the actions are:

– Financial support of dog shelters. For that purpose A series of concerts took place in Nicosia and Limassol with the kind voluntary participation of Cypriot artists.

– With the intervention of the Green Party the majority of the wider Nicosia’s Municipalities decided to undertake the managing of the animal shelter of the Pancyprian Animal Protection Society which unfortunately closed due to financial difficulties. Dog shelter has reopened a few months ago.

– Intervention and support of animal lovers for managing the Dali dog shelter.

– Continuous interventions to the competent ministers for approval of relevant funds in the budget for the operation of dog shelters.

– The restoration of specific funds of Veterinary Services in the 2015 Budget concerning grants for animal shelters and the program to neuter cats has been planned. Two funds (Chapters 12.04/4095 and 12.04.11) provided for an amount of €50.000 and €150.000 respectively.

As Green Party of Cyprus we are asking for:

The severe punishment of guilty persons for abuse or killing animals. To this respect the legislation should be enforced, a legislation which was approved in 2012 after recommendation of the Green Party and which provided for the creation of animal police.

We urge the State to enforce effective policies to tackle the problem with the abandonment of dogs and the increase of the number of stray dogs.

We demand the implementation of the policy on sterilization of cats, to control their numbers and make viable protection programs for them.

To stop the uncontrolled import of wild animals and the functioning, without effective control, of so called “zoos”.

We demand funding animal welfare organizations and dog shelters.

Strict implementation of laws and regulations should be enforced concerning the welfare of productive animals.

Organizing spaces for free walking of animals and organizing animal beaches.

Strict implementation of provisions of responsibilities of dog owners concerning annoyance and cleanliness of public places.

Create a body with the active involvement of animal welfare organizations to define and control animals policy.

The greatness of the Cypriot society is judged by the way it treats its animals. Moral development is judged by the policies implemented to change it for the better.