The Game and Fauna Service on Thursday apologised to hunters over the falsely designating an area in Nicosia as a game reserve while hunting was actually allowed there.
The apology comes after reactions by hunters over the mistake. They accused the service of opening that area just days before the hunting season was over.
The service gave reassurances that a probe was launched and those found responsible would face the consequences.
According to the service, a 0.3 square-kilometre area in Denia-Akaki area had been designated as a conservation area by mistake and signs were placed there informing hunters they could not enter. In the meantime, according to maps, the area was open to hunters.
The mistake was discovered last Monday by hunters using the help of GPS systems to navigate through the area and they notified the service.
“Taking into consideration, however, that the hunting season will be over on Sunday, it was deemed appropriate not to change the position of the signs marking the area as a game reserve to avoid confusion among hunters,” the service said in an announcement.
It added that on Wednesday groups of hunters entered the area in question, but when officers from the Game and Fauna went there, they saw that the signs indicating that no hunting was allowed there had been removed.
The Movement of Cyprus United Hunters accused the Game and Fauna Service of opening the area in question just five days before the hunting season was over and said this was “unheard of but true.”
Their anger was due to the fact that the area opened to hunting on Wednesday but only very few people knew about it and as a result, killed a large number of hares, partridges, and wood pigeons “at the expense of the majority of the hunting world.”
The party said the fact the area’s opening was not widely known, “is a condemnable act that proves that everyone does what they want and ignores what’s right and proper.”
They said the service ought to have issued an announcement to inform hunters and called for a probe to find who’s responsible for placing the signs in the wrong place.