By Natalie Hami
Published on April 26, 2012
AROUND 40 animal lovers and animal protection organisations
gathered outside the Veterinary Services in Nicosia yesterday to
protest against the importation of exotic animals and the lack of
'We're here to protest the issue of zoos
importing exotic animals as well as the welfare of pets and farm
animals,' said Andrea Barlow, of the Cyprus Animal Liberation Front
Barlow said there was the need for someone who would
solely deal with animal cruelty issues, saying that animal
protection organisations get lumbered with the financial and
emotional costs because there is nothing official in place.
have no one in the police specifically for this and we want a
specific person,' said Barlow.
Protester Evita Charalambous
agreed saying: 'We want police [who will deal with this]'...a place
we can go and report these things.'
She said they wanted the
Veterinary Services to intervene in cases of abuse and if that was
not possible then it should be the police who approached the owners
Protesters carried banners saying: 'Siberian
tigers belong in Siberia' and 'Don't let animals die in agony, do
something now.' In the first instance they were referring to the
recent importation of two Siberian tigers by a Paphos zoo.
of the protest Barlow along with a few others were allowed a quick
meeting with some veterinary officials to see what could be done
regarding the island's long-standing issues with animal protection.
'Not a lot happened,' said Barlow, who added that despite the
lack of positive action from the Veterinary Services they would
reconvene in 15 days' to look into forming a committee that would
talk to animal owners.
'We definitely want to organise another
demonstration too,' she added.
A report from the Born Free
Foundation on Tuesday said out of the nine zoos in Cyprus, only one
was licensed. None fully complied with animal welfare regulations,