A proposed new dog law would limit the number of dogs that an owner can have at home to two (one for apartments) and prohibit keeping them on balconies.
Irresponsible dog owners who do not pick up after their dogs will liable to a fine of €300. A similar fine will be imposed if owners allow their dogs to circulate in public areas off the leash.
And all dogs will be required to wear a collar with the number of their dog licence and contact details of the owner.
These are some of the proposed provisions of the amending bill which is now opened to public consultation yesterday. Members of the public can submit comments and proposals by June 12.
Cyprus has a serious problem with animal abuse and neglect, with thousands of stray dogs abandoned every year, straining the resources of hard pressed animal welfare groups to the limit.
The proposed bill follows a pledge by Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis to improve animal welfare. The draft bill still needs to go through the public consultation stage before being finalised and sent to parliament for approval.
The draft law provides for steeper out of court fines of up to €2000 and increase in prison to up to 12 months for a first offence, rising to up to two years in the event of a second conviction. If owners do not comply, authorities will be allowed to confiscate the dogs.
There will be a limit of a maximum of two dogs per house and one per apartment, but provision is made for owners who have more dogs when the law comes into force to be allowed keep them.
All dogs over two months will have to wear a collar with the number of their dog licence and the contact details of the owner. Failure to obtain a licence will be punishable with a fine of €100. There is provision also for a €100 fine for failing to microchip your dog.
Failure to take the necessary steps to ensure your dog does not create a nuisance from barking carries a €200 fine. Keeping a dog in conditions which pose a danger to public health will be punishable with a fine of €200 as will failure to provide the appropriate housing conditions for your dog.
Failure to take the necessary measures to prevent a dog from escaping the house or abandoning a dog also carries a €200 fine. There are fines too for keeping or breeding dogs which are on the list of dangerous, prohibited dogs.
Training or using dogs in fights carry an out of court fine of €1000.
Should a dog injure a person or another animal, it is liable to being confiscated and euthanised.
The draft bill also prohibits keeping dogs on balconies. They can be kept in the garden of a house provided the fencing is high enough to prevent them leaving. .