Monday, 05 September 2016 19:24

Hoping for animal welfare

The Limassol Veterinary Services continue to deal with many phone calls regarding abused animals, especially dogs and barking dogs.

“Our responsibility is animal welfare,” reiterated an officer during an interview with the Cyprus Weekly. On most days the two animal welfare officers examine more than five cases. Apparently, they also get many complaints for ‘the wrong reasons’.

If a dog is kept following certain regulations which specify the length of a chain, the size of a cage, and shelter from the weather, it has water and appears well-fed and in good condition, there is nothing the services can do.

“Conditions are often not ideal, but we also have much more serious cases to take care of,” adds the officer.

Callers are asked to focus on the real issue, which is animal welfare, rather than strained relations with a neighbour over a barking dog.

“We do try our best to follow up on all cases reported, but spend a lot of time on the phone and ask people to be specific when calling and have the address ready.”

The Limassol Veterinary Services can be reached at 25819512.

Municipality health services

When it comes to a properly kept dog barking, thus disturbing the neighbours, this involves human welfare and requires citizens to contact the local authorities, in this case, the Municipality Health Services, who collaborate with the police department.
The department currently receives an average of three complaints per day.

Limassol residents who want to report continuously barking dogs, or smells from dogs kept in closed spaces are asked to call the Limassol Municipality Health Department at 25362996.

It will then check if the dogs have licences and are micro-chipped and advise dog owners. If advice is needed on the dogs’ well-being, the Veterinary Service is contacted.

New laws to be approved

As soon as the proposal for the new law will be approved by the Council of Ministers and the Parliament this autumn, municipalities and police departments will be able to issue fines (between €85 and €150) on the spot for a total of 19 cases of dog law infraction.

“The aim is to provide sufficient tools to the local authorities and to the police to enforce the law,” explains Dr Eleftherios Hadjisterkotis, Chairman of the Congress, in a telephone conversation with the Cyprus Weekly.

“The work to get people to change their ways has been going on for years. Now, with the new regulations, we will be able to strictly enforce the new laws, and we are ready,” says Demetris Theotis, Head of the Limassol Health Services.

One can thus hope that a change of behaviour in dog owners will be brought about with new hefty fines on the horizon.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of September 2nd 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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