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CYP Press: Seized baby Caimans put down

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Tue Nov 9 10:46:42 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

CYPRUS MAIL (Nicosia) 04 November 10 Seized baby Caimans put down
Veterinary authorities have put to death 20 crocodiles, which a pet shop owner tried to import on the island from the European Union.
The 15 to 20 centimetre baby spectacled Caimans were seized at Larnaca airport in October, after their arrival from the Netherlands along with a batch of 159 birds.
The birds were released to the importer.
‚ÄúIt was the only solution we had,‚ÄĚ said Giorgos Christofi, head of animal health and welfare sector at the Veterinary Services.
Christofi said the vet services had warned the importer that the animals would not be allowed into the country and even alerted the Dutch authorities, who more or less washed their hands of the case saying it was a ‚Äúcommercial transaction‚ÄĚ.
And they had asked the importer to make arrangements to re-export the animals, Christofi said.
‚ÄúThere was no way we would let them out of customs ‚Ķ because he was not a licensed establishment and did not have the necessary infrastructure to keep them,‚ÄĚ Christofi said. Officials also feared that anyone buying the baby Caimans probably would not appreciate that adult Caimans reach over two metres long and owners may well have been forced to abandon them into the wild.
Christofi said the import of crocodiles is allowed for zoos and parks and only after permission from the state.
The importer says the seizure was illegal.
Christofi said there is a loophole in the law regulating the operation of pet shops, which does not specify which species are permitted.
In this case however, the authorities seized the crocodiles on the grounds that they could pose a problem to public health as stipulated by the Intra Community Trade law.
Christofi said legislation is in the pipeline, and would soon be handed over to the state legal service for processing and then to parliament for approval.
Authorities are keen to put an end to the uncontrolled import of exotic animals in Cyprus as more and more alien and often dangerous species seem to find their way into the island.
‚ÄúThe issue should be examined urgently and clear decisions must be taken because one cannot rule out having victims in the future with this uncontrolled import of animals,‚ÄĚ Christofi said.
Seized baby Caimans put down


   

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