Animal activists are angry over a directive by the island’s Veterinary Services to basically describe as illegal the creation of feeding and drinking areas of stray animals in public areas by volunteers.
Also upsetting is the Services’ provision that – at the discretion of the prosecuting authorities – it will be considered both a criminal and a common nuisance offence if no appropriate containers are used.
Animal welfare organisations argue that this paves the way for the police not to investigate complaints about the destruction of feeding areas if created by volunteers, Philenews reports.
Head of the Association for the Protection and Welfare of Cats, Dinos Ayiomamitis, said this is how the Police basically wants to get rid of over 60% of complaints invoking the violation of the provisions of the legislation on the protection and welfare of animals. In particular, the destruction of feeding areas.
In an effort to rectify the situation, the Association is calling for the withdrawal of the directives and at the same time amending the legislation to leave no room for misinterpretation.
A letter from the Director of Veterinary Services dated January 24, 2023 to district veterinary officers, rural veterinary stations and Border Control Stations (BCS) located at the Limassol Port and the old Larnaca Airport informs of the question raised by the Police ad sent to the island’s Legal Service.
These regard the definition of a) feeding and drinking areas for stray animals, (b) the destruction/withdrawal of food and water containers placed by citizens in public places for the feeding and drinking of stray animals; and (c) the provision of the law stating that the destruction of stray animal feeding and drinking areas and/or the withdrawal from such areas of food and water intended for stray animals is prohibited.