By Annette Chrysostomou and Kristian Chrysostomou
The Animal Party on Friday strongly condemned the poisoning of hunting dogs around Peyia in recent days and has called on the interior ministry and the game fund to help and identify controls to stop “such barbaric acts against defenceless and innocent animals”.
Before the start of the hunting season, the party said, it has received many complaints about the poisoning of dogs, something that local hunters reportedly do to prevent other hunters from hunting in what they consider ‘their area’.
According to information the party received from Peyia residents, hunters who covered their faces with masks have been leaving pieces of meat laced with poison in the area.
Pieces of meat were sent to a lab for toxicological tests by police and suspects have been questioned.
The animal party called on anyone who has information about such criminal acts to report them to police, to call the public hotline 1460 or the Animal Party at 70-078080.
The game fund also sent out a statement on Friday ahead of the start of the hunting season on August 19, detailing various warnings and cautions to be taken by the hunters.
The service asked hunters to show respect to each other and to the owners of any private land that might potentially be used for hunting during the season.
The announcement emphasised the importance of not lighting any fires in locations other than camping sites with designated fire zones, as the current weather would likely cause an uncontrollable blaze.
In addition, they advise hunters to hunt only in locations that are only designated as ‘hunting zones’ and to notify police by dialing 1414 if they witness anyone performing illegal actions.
The number for Nicosia is 99-445697, for Limassol 99-445728, for Larnaca and Famagusta 99-634325 and for Paphos 99-445679.
Hunters are also advised to be mindful of the heatwave, stay out of direct sunlight, wear light clothing, a hat and sunglasses and avoid drinking alcohol.
Anyone who needs to renew their hunting licence can do so at their local bank, cooperative institutions as well as the web.
Lastly, the service noted that due to the current laws in place, any hunter found without an updated license faces a €2,000 fine which includes an additional sum if the individual hadn’t renewed their license in years. For example, if a hunter is found without a renewed license and hadn’t done so in the last four years they face €2,000 and an additional €308 (€77 extra per every year not renewed).