An in-depth police investigation is underway following a complaint that dead animals from Limassol Zoo had been dumped in a landfill in municipal plastic bags, the Animal Party said on Monday.

In a written statement, the party said that it had been informed by police headquarters that the animal police unit of Limassol district has already started an in-depth investigation into what the party described as “scandalous and criminal action,” by Limassol Zoo.

The party had first raised the issue on Saturday, saying it had been tipped off by a private individual that the zoo has been dumping animal carcasses in Limassol municipality bin bags at the Vati landfill in the district.

“We hope that nothing will be ignored. This cases shows the more general picture of where our zoos are, how they operate, the procedures, the implementation of the relevant law and how ultimately some people do not understand that animals are NOT single use objects and that our behaviour towards them must be the appropriate one and we must respect the give five freedoms – that is that animals feel pain, heat, cold, hunger and lack of freedom” the party said.

The party added that it wanted to publicly thank the chief of police for his interest and immediate response.

Limassol municipality has said it has ordered a “full, thorough, objective and transparent investigation of all aspects and possible liability”.

On Saturday, the Animal Party published a series of distressing photographs showing a number of different small dead animals some sticking out of the bags and some just lying on the ground among the rubbish.

“It’s a disgusting spectacle that can only make you feel sadness and indignation, because certain people did not respect neither laws nor procedures, but crucially did not respect these innocent animals who were removed from their natural environment, from their home, and were trapped at the Limassol Zoo,” the party said in a statement.

Among the animals listed as having been dumped at the landfill are dead kangaroos, wallabies and owls, with one of the owls being a protected species. Its carcass still bears the tag used to track its origin and habitat.

“There can be no excuse and no mitigation because what has happened cannot be brushed aside under ignorance of the law and procedures,” the party said.

The party has requested a log of the zoo’s population and how this has fluctuated, as well as how the state’s veterinary services oversaw the implementation of the relevant procedures.