Measures to combat poaching and regulate hunting were discussed between the hunting federation and the ministry of justice, it was announced on Tuesday.

According to the federation, the meeting between its head Ilias Pekris and Justice Minister Anna Prokopiou was productive and included on its agenda the establishment of an anti-poaching unit and its mode of operation, stricter penalties, the introduction of the institution of ‘apprentice’ hunter and cracking down on the phenomenon of posting inappropriate ‘trophy’ photos on social media.

The anti-poaching unit was a top concern for the federation, and this was the fourth meeting with a minister of justice on the matter in the last two years, it said, with a reminder that it was one of the main pre-election topics for all presidential candidates.

“We are happy to announce that there is understanding and the will to satisfy our age-old request,” the federation said, adding that anti-poaching measures should focus on endemic species, mainly hare and moufflon, which would be left unprotected if resources were taken up with protecting migratory birds, “such as ambelopoulia” (black caps).

Both the minister and the police responded positively to the hunting federation’s suggestions, it said, and to the goal of promoting the sport and improving the image of the Cypriot hunter in society.