Fear of coming forward and reporting an offence is the main reason behind the rise in animal killing and abuse incidents in Cyprus over the past year with Animal Police head Vyronas Vyronas noting that if the public doesn’t file complaints then authorities simply cannot pursue the matter.
57 criminal cases have been opened since January, a number that is steadily rising, as offenders are mostly not reported by people in their close environment, such as neighbours.
Vyronos said that sentences in themselves are a strong deterrent, calling for a 12 thousand euro fine, a 12 month jail term, or both sentences concurrently.
‘The severity of the sentence goes up if someone is a repeat offender, but many cases are either not reported or charges are dropped’, Vyronos stressed, encouraging people to file complaints with their local police stations, or neighbourhood watch.
Animal police does make it easier for people to step forward and file a report, he added, with the goal of the department being to change people’s mentality and contribute towards forging a more animal caring culture.
A strengthening of the force is also on the cards, so more officers are involved in offences connected to animal welfare.
In the latest abuse incident in Greece, a man in Patra chained a dog to the back of his car and dragged him for almost two kilometers, causing severe injury to his feet.