From Kim Betts…
Seven Representatives of KAR (and 3 intern students) attended the recent ICAWC (International Companion Animal Welfare Conference) organised by The Dogs Trust. It was held for the 1st time in Cyprus on October 3rd to 5th and delegates, speakers and experts came from across the world to take part.
Each day saw delegates discussing the latest in companion animal welfare issues, concerns and personal experiences – all of which were pooled together so as to be able to share knowledge, expertise and hopefully solutions. Some of the subjects covered included “The Responsible Use of Antibiotics” “Challenges and Dilemmas in Cat Welfare” “Animal welfare in Cyprus – an evolving culture” “Healthy Dogs and Difficult Decisions” and other areas of animal welfare.
Amongst the personal speakers were:
Stella Kyriakidou – Vice President of the Democratic Rally Party and President of the Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Committee and is an active member of the Monitoring Committee as well as being active in many charities in the Republic of Cyprus (RoC). She outlined the new animal welfare reforms and legislation (in RoC) which are due to be implemented very soon.
Nicos Kountouris – he has been running the very successful education program at for the Argos Sanctuary for over 6 years, so far, reaching over 5,000 students of all ages – gave an emotional yet realistic and honest report about the problems faced, in particular in Cyprus, along with the hopes and aims of the Argos Sanctuary and Charity, which are shared by many other animal welfare groups and individuals in Cyprus. His speech received a standing ovation and there were many damp eyes in the conference hall – damp with pity and shame, but also with pride and hope for the shape of the future.
Norma Torres – Norma is a Forensic Neuropsychologist, who established the 1st animal refuge in her native Puerto Rico in 2010. YOUCANMAKEADIFFERNCE provides services such as Low Cost Spay, Neuter and Vaccination Vouchers: Emergency Veterinary Financial Assistance: Pet Food assistance in the event of financial hardship: Rescue and Rehoming stray animals. Since 2010 the organization has reduced the numbers of animals euthanized in Gadsden Co. Fl (the 2nd poorest county in the State) from 4,000 to 315. Her outline of the very sad life that many dogs live in Gadsden County struck home with many of the delegates – especially those from KAR who could relate to the problems faced when dogs are often not viewed in a community as a “companion animal”.
The conference ran for 3 days and throughout the 3 days KAR were able to discuss in some detail the particular issues and problems encountered in TRNC with vets, clinical advisors, behaviour specialists, animal experts and other groups from Cyprus and around the world – all with the aim of improving the situation for the dogs and cats here in Cyprus.
It seems that the general indicators from all delegates and experts alike were that Education plays a massive role – it takes times but it works. It can be in many different formats such as – in a classroom setting (such as KAR and Argos have been running for many years), campaigning for change, in a shelter setting by setting examples, in the community by trying to overcome time held beliefs and customs especially in respect of neutering , and by doing what we all do best – CARING and showing that we CARE.
The ICAWC was a fantastic platform for many organizations and experts to come together and between them to look at positive ways to help strays across the world .
As Naile Soyel (Girne Beldeyesi – who are in the process of opening their own shelter) said “It was a very beneficial conference”
Thank you ICWAC for holding the conference here in Cyprus and for giving interested groups, parties and organizations the chance to attend.
Kyrenia Animal Rescue rely solely on donations for funding, please help us to help the animals of Northern Cyprus .
Adopt. Volunteer, Feed, Sponsor, Donate, Love – our animals want all of these but would be happy with just one of them
Website www.kartrnc.org Tel 009 0533 8694098
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