NICOSIA – Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades promised animal lovers his government will make protecting them a priority and go after abusers, especially dogs, and help animal welfare shelters.
Speaking at the fourth annual conference of the Animal Party, he said that “Improving animal welfare in our country, in all its aspects, is a common goal of the party and the government,” reported The Cyprus Mail.
“A large number of our fellow citizens are daily engaging in the protection of stray or injured animals and struggle by whatever means at their disposal to care for animals in need of help,” he added.
He noted that the Animal Police was established to deal with abuse cases and that legislation is coming to further regulate the operation of zoos and noted a 2020 law that bans chaining dogs or keeping them on balconies and terraces.
“With this amendment, we have raised the fines in cases of animal abuse and we have banned keeping marine mammals in captivity,” he added.
He also said that the government has prepared a 1.5 million euro ($1.69 billion) scheme between local authorities to create regional shelters for stray dogs to safeguard them.
Anastasiades also said around 1,500 cats are being neutered/spayed each year and that around 17,000 dogs have been microchipped through the national scheme offering this service for free.
Cyprus has a law against capturing birds, especially songbirds that are considered a delicacy, some 2 million or more annually caught and killed and served in restaurants.