Greek police have arrested a man who was allegedly filmed kicking a cat into the sea while dining at an outdoor restaurant on the island of Evia.
In gross footage shared on social media, three people can be seen sitting at the seafront eatery when they’re approached by two felines.
A member of the party then entices one of the cats to the water’s edge with a fish before kicking the animal into the sea. If charged he could face up to 10 years in prison.
He could also be slapped with a maximum fine of €50,000 (£42,000), the Metro reports. According to the outlet, the cat was found to be unharmed after being taken to the vet by locals.
The horrible clip was shared so widely on social media that the man was subsequently arrested and Takis Theodorikakos, Greece’s police minister, condemned the act in a statement, saying: “Violence against animals is unacceptable. I cordially congratulate those who brought the matter to the public attention.”
LADbible has approached Evia police for comment.
In 2020, Greece passed a law that made serious animal abuse punishable by up to a decade behind bars.
The measure, which was unanimously voted through parliament, also ensures minimum one-year sentences and hefty fines.
Poisoning, hanging, drowning and mutilation are all examples of what constitute serious animal abuse under the law.
Speaking at the time, Makis Voridis, Greece’s agriculture minister, said the new law will send a ‘strong societal message’.
According to The Guardian, Greece has one of the largest populations of dog and cat strays in the world, with animal rights activists estimating that there are millions of street cats and dogs in Athens alone.
Here in the UK, similarly tough laws to combat animal cruelty were implemented back in 2017, and in June 2021 the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty was raised from six months to five years.
A government report published at the time noted: “The new maximum penalty will enable courts to take a firmer approach to cases such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, illegally cropping a dog’s ears and gross neglect of farm animals.
“As well as a prison sentence, offenders can also receive an unlimited fine.”
Of the sentence increase, Peter Laurie, Battersea’s Chief Executive, said last year: “Parliament has sent a clear message today – we will not tolerate animal abuse in this country.”