”The time is always right to do what’s right”
Anthony Douglas Williams
”Every animal on earth has as much right to be here as you and me”
Animal Party Cyprus’ election manifesto is presented below. This outlines our vision with respect to animals, the human-animal relationship, and to how we treat our living environment. This vision provides the basis for APC’s standpoints.
However, lack of respect for life is still present. As a consequence, natural areas are disappearing rapidly, animal species are becoming extinct and the global ecosystem has become heavily overburdened and disrupted. It is morally unacceptable for human beings to exploit nature so intensively that the living conditions on Earth dramatically change and the habitats of humans and other life forms deteriorate, decline or even disappear entirely. Future generations will be even more greatly affected by the consequences.Humans are part of the Earth’s ecosystem, but – as a result of their mental development, they have the ability to refuse to inflict unnecessary suffering on both animals and humans. This respect for the physical and mental integrity of all life on Earth provides the basis for a more peaceful way for humans to interact with each other, animals and nature.
According to the Earth Charter, which stems from a United Nations initiative in 1987 (United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development: www.earthcharter.org), the protection of the ‘viability, diversity and beauty’ of the Earth is viewed as a ‘sacred trust’ for humanity. Article 15 formulates respect and compassion in interaction with animals as a separate goal. Cruelty to animals kept by humans should be prevented and leisure activities that ‘cause extreme, prolonged, or avoidable suffering’ should be banned.
The Universal Declaration for the Rights of Animals of the International League of Animal Rights in 1977 not only asserts that all animals should be treated with respect, but article 11 also classifies the unnecessary killing of animals and every action that leads up to this as a ‘crime against life’. Recreational killing is thus explicitly rejected, while animal experimentation is subject to the demand that it must serve an essential goal and should be accompanied by research into and the application of alternatives.
After two centuries of animal protection it is high time that far-reaching restrictions are imposed on the use of animals. All too frequently animals are still regarded as objects, which are always subordinate to human interests. It is evident that this applies to the production of fur, circuses, bull-fighting, and other forms of so-called entertainment that involve hurting or killing animals. Religious and cultural traditions that compromise animal welfare should also be modernised in this regard.
Mankind’s use of animals forms the most serious threat to the earth’s ecology. The livestock industry is responsible for 30% of the loss of biodiversity. Therefore APC will support and strive for policies in which compassion and sustainability are key. The earth’s capacity and an end to suffering must be the condition for every policy choice.
Dare to think big, raise your voice and be true to your ideals. Don’t allow them to be trampled on by the people who caused our current problems in the first place. Einstein said that we cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
To work for the change animals and people so urgently need, us your voice as other caring people are in several European countries – VOTE FOR ANIMAL PARTY CYPRUS.
Suffering among dogs is widespread in Cyprus, and contributes to a negative image of the country, which is dependent to a large degree on income from tourism. Microchipping and registration are not enforced. Dogs are not required to be neutered, and are allowed to roam freely, thus breeding and increasing overpopulation.
No national statistics on abandoned or euthanized dogs are kept; thus the problem is hidden and the source remains unaddressed.
Dogs are often kept permanently tied up or in cages, thus denied even the most basic needs, both physical and psychological, living a miserable existence infested by parasites both internal and external and denied veterinary attention.
Thousands of dogs are abandoned – most healthy and young, and are euthanized every year. Dogs in certain municipalities are killed by untrained, unqualified persons; for example, they are shot. This is illegal.
Citizens have stated that they spend many hours and a great deal of their own money – even people living on retirement pensions – rescuing homeless dogs. Hundreds of thousands of Euros are being spent on neutering, feeding and veterinary treatment for rescued dogs. Furthermore, thousands of dogs are being adopted and sent abroad (for example to the UK and Germany), resulting in further great expense on the part of citizens.
In summary, citizens are stating that the homeless and abandoned dog population in Cyprus has reached crisis, and that the entire burden – of stress, financial contribution and time – is left on their shoulders.
Fines or prison sentences are not routinely used to punish offenders, as required by law. Whereas cases of gross cruelty are increasing, perpetrators must receive appropriate fines or prison sentences. This will act as a deterrent to others.
Dog owners must be informed by the Competent Authority of the biological and social needs of dogs, and obliged by the Competent Authority to meet these needs.
Pet shops (still unregulated) must not be allowed to sell dogs. This results in impulse buying and subsequent abandonment of thousands of dogs, which suffer starvation, are hit by vehicles, are injured or die. The common situation of terrified or starving dogs, or injured and dead dogs on the roads is not appropriate in a European country in 2014 and must, as a priority, be effectively addressed.
APC believes that the problem of suffering among the dog population, as outlined above, must be immediately addressed BY ALL STAKEHOLDERS working together without delay. If elected APC pledges to address the above problems.
The homeless cat population must be addressed immediately BY ALL STAKEHOLDERS.
Citizens caring for homeless cat colonies are stating that the situation in Cyprus is beyond control, and that the entire burden – of stress, financial contribution and time – is left on their shoulders – a burden that they cannot continue to bear. Many of these carers are elderly people living on retirement pensions.
Hotels, restaurants are also affected by an uncontrolled feline population. Tourists find the sight of starving and diseased cats extremely distressing.
In the interests of public health, and in light of the EU Commission’s proposed Regulation on Animal Health (COM92013)260) APC demands that a database be created for all dogs and cats, as well as all animals in ‘zoos’ or in the many unlicensed public exhibitions, and that each animal be microchipped and registered on such database.
Moratorium on breeding
SHELTERS FOR ANIMALS AND PREMISES TO HOUSE CONFISCATED ANIMALS
Each year, thousands of dogs end up in animal shelters. Government action is inadequate. Shelters are run by hardworking volunteers and their financial problems have been increasing for years.
Proper shelters must be supported to professionalize the network of shelters. The
government must provide funding. The pet sector and the hunting sector (as key sources) should contribute financially to the care for abandoned animals. A fund should be created for this purpose.
The authorities are at present unable to fulfil their legal responsibility to confiscate animals that exist in degrading living situations. Stakeholders must together work on a solution. While large exotic animals are imported, responsibility must be assumed for confiscating and housing them, when so-called ‘zoos’ or unlicensed premises are unable to keep them in a manner that ensures their physical and psychological wellbeing. The present economic crisis and likelihood of bankruptcies makes this a matter of urgency.
CITIZENS’ HEALTH AND RIGHT TO INFORMATION
The Precautionary Principle should be followed in environmental and agricultural policy.
Genetic modification and cloning
Genetic modification (GM) impairs the integrity of plants and animals. Furthermore, this technology poses a grave risk to people, animals and biodiversity. GM forms a threat to conventional and organic crops, as the varieties can cross breed. CPA rejects genetic modification. GM crops should not be cultivated in Cyprus.
The cloning of animals is morally unacceptable and causes great suffering to the animals involved. This practice should be illegal in Cyprus, as should the import of cloned animals.
Honest Information. APC wants citizens to have the right to choose GM-free; products containing GM ingredients should be clearly labelled.
- The area of land devoted to organic farming should be increased via subsidies
- The use of artificial fertilizer and hazardous chemicals should be dramatically reduced and replaced by biological and organic alternatives.
- The rules for permitting chemical pesticides should be tightened up.
- The use of neonicotinoids should be forbidden in order to try and reverse the ongoing mass die-off of bees
FARM ANIMALS continued….
Experts from the World Health Organization and the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in a landmark report say:
“Households should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses or legumes.”
After short and miserable lives in factory farms without daylight, millions of animals
are slaughtered to end up as cheap supermarket meat.
APC believes in promoting more organic, more home-grown food. Subsidies should reflect this. Farmers should be given an honest price for honest (quality) food sufficient to cover the costs resulting from society’s demands in the areas of animal welfare and the environment.
APC supports the enforcement of all animal welfare laws and all ongoing efforts for improvement. APC wants to see the end of factory farming, and instead humane systems that honour the status of animals as sentient beings (The Treaty of Lisbon, 2009).
“A sentient animal is one for whom feelings matter”
John Webster, Professor Emeritus, University of Bristol
Therefore, animal stalls and slaughterhouses must be put under continuous CCTV monitoring. Such data will be made public, as will the livestock industry’s antibiotic register.
Megafarm factories (‘Farmageddon’) must be forbidden in Cyprus, and a ban implemented on double-muscled cows, super-sized broiler chickens and the gassing or live shredding of day-old male chicks.
Human and Animal Health and Welfare are crucial principles and cannot be separated.
Cyprus is a very small country, and what little wildlife has survived is under severe threat from shooting, poisoning, massive development, forest fires, drought and climate change. Our children must not have their living heritage stolen from them before they even know what it is. Cyprus’ cultural heritage of archaeology, churches, monasteries and icons is revered. But its living heritage is disappearing before our eyes.
The Cyprus moufflon; the beautiful fruitbat, Rousettus aegyptiacus (Cyprus was the only EU country to have this species, the large population of which has been allowed to be lost over just several years of neglect and abuse); the exquisite tiny river crab Potamious potamiou with its amethyst-coloured scales; the magnificent hoopoe; the elegant Natrix natrix water snake (the few that survive swim in garbage-infested pools); –the glorious bee-eaters Merops apiaster, the elegant foxes. These wonderful creatures are part of what it means to live in this island – part of why we love it.
Animal Party Cyprus assigns nature the priority it deserves. We place the importance of a healthy earth above the interest of short-term economic benefits. We believe that everyone is entitled to a green environment; this is essential to human psychological health, as attested in the new field of ECOPSYCHOLOGY.