Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cyprus: Four-Star Anastasia Beach Hotel Uses Trash Compacter to Kill Live Puppy, Boycott Urged

According to the UK-based The Daily Mail, British expats protested outside the four-star Ayia Napa hotel known as the Anastasia Beach Hotel on Friday (July 11) after hotel staff killed a stray seven-month-old Poodle puppy in a trash compacter.

Temporary visitors found the puppy known as "Billy," inside the trash bin with a broken back and brain damage.

Thousands have reportedly signed petitions calling for Cyprus to enforce animal cruelty laws and bring animal abusers to justice. Worse, expats and tourists have called for a boycott of the hotel.

Staff at the Anastasia Beach Hotel hotel had apparently first attempted to dispose of the live and stray dog in a large recycling bin fitted with an electrically-operated crushing mechanism.

The seven-month-old puppy was found by expats lying at the bottom of the bin still alive, but suffered horrific injuries.

Appalled tourists called a local vet to the scene but the dog, dubbed Billy, died within days.

Now thousands have signed an online ‘Billy’s Law’ petition calling for Cyprus to enforce animal cruelty laws and bring those responsible to justice.
Dr. Antonis Alkiviades DVM, who works at MedVets, the hospital which cared for Billy, said: "When we went to the hotel, he was already in a coma. We were shocked and it was even more of a shock when we were told he was put into this crushing bin."

Billy was visited by dozens of concerned locals and tourists. Briton Lynn Gandy, 61, said: "He looked terrible...He was a poor, frail, little dog...It is savagery."

COMMENT: On Friday (July 11), British tourists joined expats marching outside the Anastasia, which is part of the Tsokkos group, Cyprus’s largest hotel chain. 

They held banners with slogans reading "Punish people who abuse animals" and "Support Billy’s Law and Stop Animal Cruelty Now," while also chanting "Justice for Billy."

Ross Breakwell, from London, who was on holiday in Cyprus, said: "I never imagined a country within the EU could be so lax when it comes to something as important as animal rights."

"I’m shocked and disgusted by this incident. It will make me think twice before coming back to Cyprus and I definitely would never stay in a Tsokkos hotel," one visitor said.

Nicos Anastasiades, the president of Cyprus, condemned Billy’s death and described the incident as "a disgrace for society and our country."

Thomas Cook said: ‘We take such incidents extremely seriously, and in no way condone this type of alleged behavior...This is obviously a very serious allegation, given that Thomas Cook closely audits properties to ensure the very highest levels of health, safety and quality standards are maintained."

Tsokkos Hotels said: "Hotel management received complaints from guests about the fact that a stray puppy wandered around. The hotel manager immediately gave instructions to two employees to take the puppy to a local shelter to obtain appropriate care."

"Unfortunately, the employees did not follow the instructions and proceeded to engage in an inhuman act, unacceptable and condemnable by Tsokkos Hotels...As soon as Tsokkos Hotels became aware of the incident, the puppy was transferred to a veterinary clinic to receive all necessary treatment."

Obviously, ALL hotel staff in Ayia Napa "didn't get the word, or took it upon themselves to ignore an executive decision."

It should be clarified that despite being a Commonwealth country, Cyprus has no equivalent of the RSPCA. It is time one promptly be formed.