Cyprus Dog Law

Cyprus Dog Law – What you need to know

The new Dog Law came into effect on 1st October 2004 but as this was not made known to the public, very few people are aware of their responsibilities. The large population of stray dogs in Cyprus is a direct result of the reluctance of dog owners to take their responsibilities seriously hence, when the dog is no longer desirable it becomes dispensable. The new Dog Law is a strong law if it is effectively implemented.

Under the Dog Law, the competent authority designated the responsibility for the control of stray dogs is the local authority, i.e. the municipalities and community councils. If animal abuse is suspected, then the local authority can call for assistance the District Animal Welfare Committee and the District Veterinary Services.


Requirements of dog ownership

Mandatory Registration – Failure to obtain a dog licence incurs a heavy fine

As from 24th April 2009 there have been changes to the registration procedures for dogs.

(1) The owner must microchip the dog using a private vet who will also issue the health book, make an entry on the Central Dog Register, and provide a registration certificate. In the case of dogs who already have a microchip, a veterinary surgeon or the District Veterinary Service can make the entry on the Central Register.

(2) The owner must then take the registration certificate and health book to the Local Council or municipality and obtain a dog licence the fee for which varies depending on the gender and type of dog and is usually payable annually with your local tax.

The system will now permit private vets, police, animal welfare societies, and local authorities direct access to the Central Dog Register to assist in identifying ownership of lost or stray dogs.


Inspection of Premises

The local authority has the right to inspect any home or manor where a dog is kept to ascertain that the living conditions of the dog do not pose health hazards to public health, safety and welfare of humans.


Declination to issue Dog Licence

The local authority can refuse to issue / renew or withdraw a dog licence in certain circumstances:

a) If the competent authority ascertains that the dog is dangerous to humans and animals when found outside of the owners property

b) Causing annoyance and/or:
If a dog is listed on the dangerous breeds index and not licensed;
If the owner is under the age of 16 or convicted for violation of the animal welfare  law

c) If owner cannot provide suitable living conditions for the dog

e) When the living conditions of the dog render it dangerous for public health and the health of other dogs or animals

f) If the owner abandons the dog or if the dog escapes

g) If the dog is kept in a place not belonging to the owner, unless he has written permission from the rightful owner for the use of the grounds

h) If the dog is allowed systematically to roam the streets defecating and causing annoyance and following a written warning from the local authority, the owner neglects to implement corrective measures


Confiscation of a Dog

The competent authority applies to the District Animal Welfare Committee who investigates and if it is ascertained that the owner is in violation of any of the above Clauses, the dog is handed over to the local authority. The local authority will make arrangements via the District Animal Welfare Committee to place the dog with an animal welfare organisation or to any other interested party. If this is not possible within thirty days (30) from the date the dog was handed over to the competent authority by the District Animal Welfare Committee, then the dog is surrendered to the District Veterinary Services to be euthanised.


Expenses Incurred

Any expenses involved in the implementation of the provisions of above clause are borne by the owner of the dog.


Change of ownership

If a dog is given away or sold, both the present owner and the prospective owner must transfer the licence at the municipality or local council’s offices.


Loss or Theft of Dog

To be reported to the police and local authority.


Display of Sign

A clearly visible sign “Beware of the Dog” must be displayed at the residence or manor where the dog is kept.


Hunting Dogs

A dog owner who wishes to use his dog as a hunting dog, must submit to the Director of the Hunting Fund, an application for the concession of a permit to use a hunting dog, producing a valid dog licence issued by the local authority. No more than two dogs are allowed to be taken on hunts at any one time.



It is prohibited to shepherds or cattle-breeder to be accompanied by more than two dogs during grazing of their flocks or their animals.


Stray Dogs

Dog owners must take every precaution to prevent their dog from escaping and becoming a stray dog. The owner of a stray dog is liable to pay the expenses incurred by the local authority in catching and keeping the dog. Under the Law, the local authority is obliged to keep the dog in the approved pound for 15 days whereby every effort is made to locate the owner. If the owner cannot be found it is then surrendered to the District Veterinary Services to be euthanised if it cannot be re-homed or no animal welfare organisation accepts it.