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08-12-2019 13:48

Address by the Commissioner for the Environment, Mrs Klelia Vasileiou, at the 3rd Pancyprian Convention of the Animal Party Cyprus

It is a great pleasure for me to be present at the party's animal conference today, contributing, in my turn, to the common benefit that we all must create for our living balance, but above all for the harmony of coexistence.

Talking about animals, should always enable us to recognize the most basic of the principles heard in the term “food chain”. This will allow us, in the first place, to have clear data on the species' nutrition needs, food quality, provision and ultimately a decent living framework that concerns not only humans, but also all forms of life that coexist in the same geographical area.

In this context, the need to record species and their biology, through specialized scientific tools, will give us further insights into those subtle equilibria that will make our coexistence more meaningful and mutually beneficial.

I repeat from this step that the need to avoid extremes and “extremes” is non-negotiable. No one alone can decide, without convincing documentation, the management of one species, without realizing that the species belong to a large ecosystem in which it coexists with all other species of life. Including human.

Bearing this in mind, all stakeholders directly and indirectly in coexistence should, in a good sense, propose equilibrium solutions by shielding the dignified living framework of each species, without overprotecting the other.

For this very reason, the obligation of people, who are committed to upholding the interests of ecosystem members who have no voice, that is, animals, becomes even greater responsibility.

Anyone who seriously cares about the need to protect animals, should be well aware that reference is not only to the animals we have in our home environment and that we know. The debate should not only be about pets and more specifically dogs and cats, but every life that lives and breathes in the same ecosystem as each contributes in ways that those who are probably present will probably never learn.

Many species of wildlife make ourlives better, they contribute particularly to the production of clean food, water and the combination of soil and natural vegetation even in the air we breathe. Snakes, anthers, bats, foxes, hedgehogs, etc. are simply invited through their physical presence to act as cleaners of the environment with powerful mechanisms freeing us from the use of chemicals. Others function as food, in a multifunctional natural life system.

This figure also includes the man who is called upon to coexist, but also to support his own structures in this ecosystem.

For our country, the current legal framework governing the protection and welfare of animals is fully harmonized with the European legislation. This means that all EU Directives have been incorporated into the national legislation in the form of Regulatory Administrative Acts, while all EU Regulations shall apply immediately and as such in all member states without the need to be elaborated and incorporated into the laws of each country.

This Council of Ministers, which I have attended for almost two years uninterruptedly in my previous capacity, has taken a number of measures aimed at further strengthening and protecting animal welfare structures.

However, there is still much to be done because laws alone are not enough. The cultivation of culture and consciousness is a first objective and concern of the Office of the Environment Commissioner with the aim of ideally balancing species through dialogue. Clear discussions, without fanaticism and extremes aimed at coexistence.

It should be understood from the outset that only with respect to each position we can have a receptive audience and adopt the basic rules. The challenge for all of us is to lower the tones and use real arguments to see better days for animal welfare.

The functioning of the natural ecosystem can, and should, become our ultimate guide to structures that will provide solutions to the issues of refuge for both home and wildlife.

Nature's creatures, like every human being, have different needs that need to be respected.

There is no pattern in nature. This requires knowledge, responsibility and arguments.