Animal welfare denotes the well-being of animals, a vital component for the preservation of the ecosystem. The Cyprus legislation for the protection and safeguarding the health and welfare of animals (46(I)/1994) provides a clear distinction between domestic and wild animals. According to the aforementioned legislation, ‘wild animal’ is the animal which by its nature is predestined to live freely, without restrictions or human control whereas ‘domestic animal’ is the animal that is under human supervision, predestined for private entertainment and companionship.
In accordance with Section 4 of Law 46(I)/1994, animals should be treated according to their needs. Therefore, pet owners should establish a healthy and secure environment for their pets in order to safeguard their welfare and develop a strong human-animal relationship. A healthy human-animal relation may restrict animal cruelty incidents. Furthermore, it may prevent dog attacks on children as in many cases those dogs have been abused by their owners. Therefore, responsible ownership is essential. Moreover, it is rather important to report animal cruelty, as well as, take the necessary measures to prevent it.
Dog is one of the most popular domestic animals. The king of Prussia, Frederick the Great articulated that ‘dog is man’s best friend’ as dog is well-known for its loyalty and companionship. In addition to this, dogs are easily trained pets and can be used as ‘valuable’ assistants. A remarkable example is the guide dog for people with vision loss. Furthermore, dogs are used for crime prevention. Responsible ownership is an essential aspect of a harmonic human-animal relation. Consequently, dog owners should ensure a secure and healthy environment for their dog(s) and proceed with the necessary registration and marking procedures.
In Cyprus, the Dog Law (184(I)/2002) regulates dog ownership. Furthermore, the Dog Law clarifies that complaints related to dog torturing and poisoning must be submitted to the Municipalities/Communities or police or both. Complaints can also be reported to the District Animal Welfare Committee.
The Dog Law provides that in order to have a dog it is required to obtain the necessary licence that is issued by the competent authority which is the Municipalities/Communities. The licence is valid for one year and the owner is obliged to renew it every year.
The licence is issued following the submission of the application form, the necessary documents and fees. For more information concerning the procedures you need to follow, please contact one of our lawyers.
- Health book or passport;
- Dog registration and microchip certificate;
- Payment receipt;
Furthermore, a visible sign ‘’Beware of the Dog’’ must be placed at the residence or manor where the dog/s is/are kept.
In the case that a dog changes ownership, then both the current owner and the prospective owner should transfer the licence at the municipality or local council’s office.
Loss/ Theft of Dog: It needs to be reported to the police and local authority.
Pursuant to Section 10 of the Law, dog owners must take all the necessary measures in order to prevent their dogs from escaping and becoming stray dogs. As a result, they are liable to pay the expenses incurred by the local authority in catching and keeping the dog. In accordance with the provisions of subsection 10 (1), the local authority shall keep the dog in the approved pound for 15 days whereby every effort is made to contact the owner. In the case that the owner cannot be found, then the dog is surrendered to the District Veterinary Services to be euthanised in case it cannot be re-homed or no animal welfare organisation accepts it.
A dog owner who wishes to use his/her dog as a hunting dog, shall submit to the Director of the Hunting Fund, an application for the concession of a permit to use a hunting dog, producing a valid dog licence issued by the local authority. According to Section 13 of the Law, no more than two dogs are allowed to be taken on hunts at any one time.
Prohibited Breeds in Cyprus:
- Pit Bull Terrier/American Pit Bull
- Japanese Tossa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brazileiro
Marking your dog is obligatory:
The registration of dogs in the Register of Veterinary Services is carried out only after the identification of the pet, either online or in the local District Veterinary Offices. Following the dog’s registration, a certificate of permanent ‘marker’ is issued and given to the dog owner. The registration of dogs in the veterinary services registry is free of charge.
The only legally acceptable method of dog marking in Cyprus is the placement of microchip. The microchip placement can be carried out by any registered private Veterinarian. Afterwards, the veterinarian will include the necessary details regarding the dog and its owner in its health book/passport.
In our opinion, all dog owners should mark their dogs for the following reasons:
- The number of abandoned and stray dogs will be decreased as it will be easy to find the owner;
- Animal abuse will be further controlled;
- If someone loses his/her dog, then it will be easy to locate;
- The incidents of dog poisoning will be decreased. Here, it should be highlighted that in many cases people place poison for dogs in parks, play grounds and places where there are a lot of children, endangering the health of the children too;
How can we help you?
The lawyers of Michael Chambers & Co. LLC are able to assist you and guide you properly on all the matters related to animal welfare in Cyprus, dog law and animal abuse. Our experienced lawyers will help you to report animal cruelty incidents, as well as, gather the necessary evidence which will support your case. If you wish to speak to one of our lawyers, then please contact us: [email protected]