The Green Party on Wednesday slammed authorities for lack of action after numerous cats, a dog and several hedgehogs were found dead, probably from poison, in the village of Maroni over the past week.

In an announcement, the party, which called what happened “disgusting and horrifying”, said everything pointed to the laying of poison in the Larnaca district village.

“Since last week, it seems that dead kittens are constantly being found, and the fate of 20 more cats that were being fed by animal lovers in the village of Maroni is unknown,” the party said, adding that a dog and several hedgehogs were also found dead.

At least one of the incidents was confirmed as having been reported to police on Saturday night, the Green Party said, but according to the complainant, police failed to investigate.

Police were only notified at all because the animal police for the Larnaca district had not picked up the initial calls.

“All animals found in the area were supposed to be handed over for a necropsy but the police collected and took only the dog with the excuse that the other animals were strays, which is completely unacceptable,” the Green Party said.

“Animal welfare legislation covers all animals, not just those that have an owner,” it added. Police were then asked by the local council to also pick up the kittens that have been found.

The party said it was of great concern that if the animals were poisoned, “there is someone in the community who is in possession of an illegal dangerous substance and may use it again”. This was something police should have been concerned with and investigated to identify the culprit, the party said.

“We also bring up again the issue of the animal police and their inability to effectively respond to society’s demand for the protection of animals and the punishment of those who abuse animals as they are understaffed,” it added.

The party called for the creation of an independent body with its own staff and equipment who are well versed in the legislation and can demonstrate the required zeal to investigate cases of animal cruelty.

It is also asking the police leadership to investigate the way the case was handled at the local level.

“We live in 2024 and unfortunately there are daily crimes against animals. When will we finally respect animals? When will there be zeal on the part of the competent authorities to implement the legislation and procedures to punish the guilty?” said the coordinator of the movement’s animal action group, Anthi Mouzouri.

“Unfortunately, in the Cyprus of 2024, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order for us to call ourselves a civilised people.”