The Animal Party Cyprus says an Agriculture Ministry decision to lower the fee paid by shelters for certificates needed to rehome dogs and cats abroad is a step in the right direction, but does not go far enough.
Until recently, shelters arranging to send animals for adoption abroad were charged €34 by the Agriculture Ministry for the necessary health certificates (known as traces). The ministry has cut this to €10 which though a positive development is inadequate, the party said.
“We need to stress that the animal welfare associations, that is volunteers as we are talking about volunteers, have undertaken at a personal cost to care for abandoned dogs and cats and should not be considered to also have shouldered the responsibilities of the state and society for the protection and welfare of animals,” the party said.
Shelters are packed and volunteers help as much as possible to alleviating the problem by seeking families to adopt the animals, in Cyprus or abroad.
“We therefore consider that not only should they not be required to pay €10 but rather the cost should be covered by state and not the NGOs and the volunteers,” it said.
The party also urged the Finance Minister, if possible, to distribute the €340,745 collected in such fees over the past four years as a subsidy to the animal welfare associations so that they can continue their work and comply with the requirements of the new law on the protection and welfare of animals.