The government is launching a scheme to microchip 20,000 dogs as part of efforts to tackle the island’s huge problem with strays.
Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said the islandwide microchip programme was approved by the Council of Ministers on Wednesday.
The aim is to reduce the number of dogs that are abandoned as well as to deal with incidents of dogs being stolen, he said.
“It was decided that 20,000 dogs will be microchipped for free with the participation of the Veterinary Services and the cooperation of organised groups such as the Hunters Association, animal welfare associations and the district animal welfare committees.
“It is an important measure that comes within the framework of our efforts for the protection and welfare of animals which are being gradually introduced,” he said.
In a post on Facebook, the ministry said that the project will be presented in detail in the next few days.
It will be carried out over four months.
Hard pressed animal shelters are struggling to cope with thousands of dogs which are abandoned every year, many of them hunting dogs that are dumped.
Authorities have been promising more action to improve animal welfare in Cyprus, including harsher penalties for animal abuse, but little progress has been seen so far.