The House of Representatives on Friday approved new regulations for animal shelters, particularly as regards building specifications of the premises, with the aim of improving animal welfare and protection.
The regulations – which also cover animal hotels and breeders — were approved by 49 votes to two.
An amendment by Greens MP Charalambos Theopemptou specifying that an animal must be neutered before being moved from a shelter, was approved by 32 votes to 19.
Another amendment setting out minimum space to keep a dog in a community or municipal shelter was rejected.
In September, the Agriculture Ministry said animal shelters would be given an additional €100,000 to enable them to carry out necessary improvement work.
These improvements aim at the welfare and protection of the animals in their care and are a precondition so that they can continue to operate once new regulations come into force, it had said at the time.
Approval of the regulations would constitute a significant step in safeguarding the welfare of animals in Cyprus as this is the first time that specific requirements are set out as regards the buildings and the operation of such facilities, with the aim of improving animals’ living conditions, it said.
Each eligible animal shelter will be given additional state aid of up to €10,000. To qualify, shelters must fulfil criteria for annual aid and also submit an implementation plan of the proposed improvement work at their facilities, it added.
The decision and the regulations are part of the comprehensive plan for the protection and welfare of animals announced by the Ministry in July 2018.