Animal lovers have slammed a directive issued by Deputy Agricultural Development Minister Costas Kiltidis that prevents any citizen from having more than two cats or dogs and requires them to declare in writing that they will return with the animals whenever they travel abroad. Kiltidis says he has issued the circular to prevent illegal trading in household pets. «We are trying to restrict the movement of animals, which damages our country’s civilization,» he told Skai TV. However, animal lovers say the measure aims to spare Greece embarrassment. «It seems the deputy minister has a problem with us sending animals abroad as foreigners realize we have a problem with strays in Greece,» said animal welfare campaigner Klea Morianou. Greek animal lovers often pick up strays and send them abroad for adoption. «This circular is an attempt to close this avenue,» she said.