The amount allocated through a state subsidy for neutering stray cats is not enough to restrain their rising population, the Animal Party said on Tuesday.
In an announcement, the party urged the Ministry of Agriculture, local authorities, volunteers and animal welfare groups to collaborate to find a comprehensive solution to the issue.
“Animal Party Cyprus was briefed by the Ministry of Agriculture regarding the state cat neutering programme. Although we welcomed this initiative which is included in the roadmap for the welfare and protection of animals, unfortunately, we see that despite the increase in the subsidy from 75,000 euros to 100,000 euros, the population of cats keeps rising in all districts,” the party said.
Animal welfare groups, volunteers and rescuers strive to care for cats and cat colonies, on a daily basis with no financial support, the announcement added.
According to Ministry of Agriculture data, in the five years between 2017-2022, a total of 7,287 cats were neutered using 351,067 euros in state funds.
“These numbers show that while the state subsidy increases, it is not distributed correctly,” the Animal Party said and urged the Ministry, local authorities and volunteers to collaborate to map areas where there is an increased population of stray cats and then “act accordingly.”
Although no official data exist, the population of cats in Cyprus is roughly estimated to be around 1.5 million.
In an interview with in-cyprus, Christina Kyriacou, founder of the cat welfare volunteer group “Jerry & Friends,” explained that with a population of approximately 1.5 million cats and only 3000 cats being neutered per year with the help of the subsidy, the other 1,497,000 cats are left to breed and multiply.
“If 1% of these cats are female and have 1 surviving offspring per breeding season this means 15,000 kittens will be born per season and this happens twice a year. This means 30,000 kittens born per year (maybe more), that are subjected to the dangers of the streets,” Kyriacou said.
Government spent over €351,000 in past five years for cats’ sterilisation