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Intervention urged after disturbing photos of dead foxes emerge

dead foxes, game service, hunters, trapping
Dead foxes

The animal party has asked for immediate intervention by the ministers of interior and agriculture following outcry after the publication of photos showing five dead foxes.

“Protection of the fox has been of ongoing concern [to the party] for several years […] something is wrong with the whole story regarding its protection and population management by the Game Service which came into effect in 2016,” the animal party said in its announcement.

Despite ecologists considering the fox a useful animal with an important role in the ecosystem, the animal party charged that the plan in place for its population control – which includes catching animals and euthanising them – is at odds with this fact.

“How can special units be organised within the Game Service to kill [foxes], shoot them and place traps, in breach of species protection laws?” the party asked.

For his part, game service spokesman Petros Anayiotos, told the Cyprus Mail that any foxes trapped by game service members are afterwards released in more remote areas.

“The game service has the right to manage the population only after agreement from the ministry and in accordance with a relevant scientific advisory,” Anayiotos said.

Hunters are not permitted to shoot foxes under any conditions, he added.

The animal party, however, disputed that proper management procedures were being followed.

“[We] demand an immediate expert scientific study from independent researchers on the matter, to determine [fox] population facts and particularly their eating habits,” the party said.

Noting the irony of the fox having been made a national post icon in 2004, the animal party added that “since then [they have been] been hunting them to extermination.”

Meanwhile, the game service insists that the number of foxes has been increasing according to the game services’ latest annual count.

“The fact that we are seeing more foxes entering into built-up areas and killing pets, such as cats, as well as livestock, shows that their population is on the rise,” the game service rep claimed.

The fox (Vulpes vulpes indutus) is classified as an endemic subspecies which is protected and is the only carnivorous mammal on the island.

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