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C-ALF Demonstration held at farm with 'appalling conditions'
By Jacqueline Agathocleous
THE CYPRUS Animal Liberation Front (CALF) last night held a protest outside a farm in Nicosia suburb Tseri, where animals including donkeys, dogs and sheep have been kept for years in appalling conditions.
In one recent case, the Front claims the farm owner administered a lethal injection to a pregnant donkey, killing her and her foal, after CALF volunteers attempted to get her out of there.
According to CALF member Andrea Barlow, the farm is owned by the manager of a Co-op bank in Nicosia. "He has had these animals for a long time in such awful conditions," she said yesterday. The animals, according to CALF, are all disease ridden and infested with tics and fleas -- among others.
"Our aim is to make the authorities arrest him," Barlow told the Cyprus Mail. "People are demanding answers and are calling on the police to request a veterinary services" representative to come and explain why they did not seize the animals."
She said a group of volunteers recently tried to work with the owner and negotiate to at least free the donkeys. "There was a pregnant donkey there, which was in such a terrible condition."
But as tempers flared, one of the volunteers verbally insulted the owner, which prompted him to report her to the police.
"The police have statements, which means they can issue a case against the farm owner," said Barlow. "But what actually happened was that they made the statements, went home and when the volunteers returned the next day with the veterinary services, they found the female donkey dead. They murdered her and her foal, because they found she had been administered a shot to the neck; and the veterinary services haven't even taken her body for an autopsy, so a case can be launched against him."
The volunteer is now being charged, while the owner has so far faced no consequences. "So this man can get away with this animal cruelty, while we are charged for losing (our tempers)," said Barlow.
The shocking claims don't end there. "When the volunteers visited, they saw some puppies there. But when they went back the next day, they found a puppy burnt -- possibly alive -- on the floor and another buried," said Barlow, who added that the volunteers were left extremely distressed.
"So why are we here tonight?" said Barlow. "We want explanations. We want to know why the animals weren't taken for an autopsy, why no charges have been launched against the owner and why no action has been taken."
The deputy head of the Veterinary Services, Kyriacos Georgiou, last night told the Cyprus Mail that efforts were being made for the animals' welfare.
In the past week, he said, two veterinary officials visited the farm four times. "The services only became aware of the problem a few days ago," said Georgiou. "What happened was that road works were taking place and the road was diverted past this farm and people saw the animals.
"Today we found out that 12 of the 18 dogs that
were there have been taken to a dog hotel, at the owner's expense."