Cyprus Voice for Animals had a meeting with the new Minister of Justice, Mr Ionas Nicolaou. The only subject discussed was the establishment of an Animal Welfare Police which would be dedicated solely to enforcing the provisions of the Animal Protection and Welfare Law and all other laws relating to animals in general (a demand repeatedly put on the table by us for many years).
It is with great regret that we must inform you that under the current circumstances this force CANNOT be established, even though what we are talking about is a mere 10-15 policemen for the whole of Cyprus. The minister understands the various problems that arise in the implementation of the Law but believes that these duties should be undertaken by Community Policing, in other words, neighbourhood police officers. Community policing has not yet been established throughout Cyprus, and the minister promised that it would soon be expanded throughout the island. Instructions have been issued for the neighbourhood police to be specially trained on animal welfare and protection matters. For this purpose, Mrs. Mary Anastasi, President of CVA and lecturer at the Police Academy since 2009 on subjects related to Raising Awareness on Animal Protection and Welfare as well as Law 46(Î™), 1994, was invited to prepare the content of these seminars and proceeded with the presentation with an attendance of 70 neighbourhood police. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Cyprus Chief of Police, Mr Michalis Papageorgiou for his help in organising the seminars and the Police Academy for facilitating them. Finally, we wish to assure you that despite the current lack of success, we will not give up and will continuously work towards the goal of establishing an Animal Protection Police Unit, however long it takes! We will keep you informed of all developments.