Animal welfare in Cyprus
Life is not the privilege of humans, but the privilege of everything that breaths and lives in this planet. We all have the right to live in decency without fear and pain, but to live with love and respect.
The majority of Cypriots understand this basic fundamental need and treat animals with respect.
Unfortunately there is an great amount of people who are uncivilized and ignorant towards this basic fundamental need and thus brutally treat animals harming them and mistreatingthem. Some people just harm animals only because they don’t know better, they are ignorant and they are missing this basic knowledge that animals are as equals as them and they also have the right to live with respect.
The problem in Cyprus is leading towards ignorance, as the generation that moved from the villages and the work in the fields is not that long gone. The generation of our grandparents and parents learned that animals serve as food or as tools.
Of course many of our grandparents, parents and children treat animals as equals because they have the inner education and respect for all forms of life. Today more than ever before, Cypriots care about animals. They are organised in groups, they created shelters that protect street dogs and cats. The majority of Cyprus Animal Welfare Societies have taken concerted action and formed a union, since 2006, the Cyprus Voice for Animals (CVA), to advocate for animals through legislation and education, to change the present animal welfare status in Cyprus and make it a better place for animals.
A good development towards animal welfare is the Animal Party Cyprus (APC), a fully fledged Cypriot political party, which operates with a committee that meets regularly and makes decisions. Through connections established over 20 years working in behalf of non-human animals, the Party leader, Kyriacos Kyriacou, has ensured that the Party is regarded seriously by and has access to the various authorities in Cyprus. Nowadays the APC is more organized than ever before and demands from the State and municipalities authorities to take action, implement laws and create new ones when there are gaps.
The media and especially the social media, play a very significant role in the public’s education and in the general animal welfare as everything becomes viral instantly by individuals or organized groups who help find missing dogs, adopt new ones, form complains about people who abuse animals and demand implementation of the laws, bigger punishments and generally a bigger involvement and contribution from the State.
The State and the local authorities should have a bigger involvement as there are a lot that can be done towards animal welfare and not relying in the voluntary work of people who work for free, or with limited private funds and out of their own love and respect towards animals.
Despite these issues, Cyprus is moving towards the right direction, and with the help and involvement of more people we can have a real welfare for animals.
Lastly let’s not forget that animal welfare should not extend only towards cats and dogs, but to the helpless birds that are put in cages to serve as viewing, towards the animals in the farms that serve as food or working tools, the animals in zoo’s and parks that serve as entertainment, the animals who are abused brutally by the fashion industry, and also the poor animals that are abused in the circus and the animals that serve as guinea pigs in laboratories away. We can all do much more towards animal's welfare, so let’s just do more is simple as that!
“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer
“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
― Immanuel Kant
Check out the Animal Party Cyprus (APC) page and see how you can assist!