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Vet services keep ‘illegal’ animals in rival zoo

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It’s been over a month since the Veterinary Services proceeded without any warning to confiscate animals imported by Melios Pet Centre.

The animals were allegedly imported illegally; however, no charges were filed.

Instead, the animals were transferred to a rival park in Paphos and have stayed there since.

Owner Melios Menelaou is adamant that his animals were imported legally from Europe and that he completed all the required paperwork before their importation, as he did dozens of times before.

It appears that there’s something suspicious about the whole affair, particularly with the procedures that the head of the Veterinary Services chose to pursue.

Since last month, the animals have not left Cyprus but stayed at a competitor’s park in Paphos, with all the revenue benefits this entails.

Menelaou is asking ‘why’ but has not received any answers yet, and the Financial Mirror spoke with him.

What is happening with your animals that have been confiscated?

It seems to me that the Veterinary Services are doing a bad job, and I was left without any choice but to bring the matter to the police and the court again.

Time and time again, the same people try their best to shut my business and stop me from operating.

In this case, they have sent my animals to a competitor park in Paphos, which does not possess the required permit for a zoo park and is thus operating illegally.

As such, I believe that the director of the Veterinary Services illegally permitted animals to be housed in that park.

It’s been a month since the animals have been in possession of the government authorities without sending them anywhere but keeping them in a zoo in Paphos, which operates illegally.

While they demanded from us that we immediately send the animals back to their country of origin, they have failed to do so themselves.

Had we sent the animals back without the proper documentation provided by the local authorities, it is almost certain that all the animals would have been destroyed.

So, if our authorities wanted these animals back, why are they keeping them illegally at a location hardly qualified by their standards?

Why have the animals not left the country since they are illegal?

I suppose this is a question for the Veterinary Services to answer, particularly its director.

Once again, I have no choice but to refer the matter to the courts.

Note that the new batch of animals may be considered rare and are now on display in a Paphos zoo rather than in my possession.

After a month in Cyprus, Vet Services has not found a plane or other means to send them back, if indeed the animals are illegal, as he claims.

I think the Minister of Agriculture, Costas Kadis, should also investigate the matter because I believe that the Veterinary Services’ conduct is inappropriate and without any legal merit.

And this is not the first time.

This is not the first time Vet Services are going after you?

Unfortunately, it’s been a few years since they have been causing damage to my business through this illegal and inappropriate conduct.

As a result of the unlawful actions, I have referred many cases to the police and the courts, seeking justice.

In some cases, the court found the Veterinary Services guilty and asked them to pay thousands of euros in damages.

Unfortunately, the Minister of Agriculture is not doing enough to restore order. No wonder many people in Cyprus think the country is a Banana Republic.