Animal welfare activists have called for municipalities and community councils to make this Easter the last one involving live animals in traditional festive activities.
In an announcement, Animal Party Cyprus (APC) said: “We would like to remind you that animals are not toys or disposable items. Animals are conscious beings which feel, pain, fear, thirst, suffering, the cold and heat and so should not be used as a means of entertainment”.
APC complained that even very young children were being made to participate in out-dated Easter ‘games’ such as pulling a piglet’s tail to see who could make it squeal the loudest.
In another case, a lamb was spray-painted with the word ‘gift’ and paraded around the village square.
“Even the donkey races see inexperienced people riding the animals and hitting them repeatedly,” APC said, noting the donkeys—who were not prepared for racing—were certainly scared and sometimes even seriously injured by the process.
“These practices do nothing to credit our culture and certainly have no place in any supposed tradition,” APC said.
It added: “We can easily enjoy Easter without making blameless animals suffer”.