Moving to strength animal welfare, the Council of Ministers on Wednesday adopted new draft legislation which prohibits keeping dogs and cats tied up.
The proposal also bans keeping dogs and cats on balconies and roofs and introduces tougher penalties for animal abuse or neglect.
Thirdly it prohibits keeping marine mammals ( dolphins, whales and seals) captive in aquariums or elsewhere.
It comes a week after the Council on Ministers approved the setting up a special unit within the police force to deal with animal abuse, a long standing demand of animal welfare activists.
The proposal submitted by Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis that was approved by cabinet on Wednesday amends the current law on the protection and welfare of animals as follows:
It introduces new prohibitions in order to improve the living conditions of pets.
More specifically it will be prohibited to:
a) keep a dog or cat permanently tied up
b) to keep a cat or dog isolated on balconies, verandas or roofs
It increases fines that can be imposed by a court parallel to jail in cases of abuse or neglect of an animal as follows:
a) in the event of a first conviction the fine that can be imposed by court rises from €1,700 to €10,000
b) in the event of a second or additional conviction the fine rises from €3,400 to €20,000
c) in the event of a conviction for preventing the work or disobeying the instructions of the veterinary services or the police, the fine rises from €850 to €5000.
It introduces a prohibition to keeping marine mammals (dolphins, whales and seals) in captivity (aquariums, artificial tanks etc)
It reinforces the Pancyprian Committee on Animal Welfare and district animal welfare committees
a) changes their composition to ensure wider representation
b) reinforces their authority so that they can actively participate in formulating new policies and measures and to offer more effective help to the veterinary services and police authorities in monitoring and implementing the law
The amended bill will be submitted to the House of Representatives. Implementation is subject to the approval of the House.