A NUMBER of dogs have died from suspected cyanide poisoning in the Lania and Finikaria areas lately, from eating a substance known as candlewax poison.
One dog owner from Lania was walking her three dogs on Sunday evening when two of them licked a white substance attached to a stone. “I was walking my dogs on the hills above Lania when two of the three licked some white stuff that looked like lard. Immediately they started rolling on the ground and were dead within ten minutes. From the looks of things it must have been chicken fat mixed with cyanide,” said the dog owner.
“I went back the next day to collect the remaining substance and took it to the Lania police station and the Limassol veterinary services,” she added. “There were also some people at the veterinary from Finikaria who also lost their dogs to this substance,” she said.
The substance has been given to the police and it will be kept for two months. If any suspects are located within this time then the evidence will be tested, if not it will be destroyed, sources at the Limassol veterinary services said.
“We have already sent out our team to Finikaria and will be visiting Lania after this incident. We will inform the local authorities and try to push them towards warning the local citizens. This substance is not only dangerous to dogs but also to people,” they added.
The sources said these were the first cases of poisonings this year. They also said the substance seemed to have been freshly laid as it would have lost its effects after rainfall.
“We always have these kinds of problems which are caused by irresponsible people,” they added.
The Lania area is a popular spot for families to spend Green Monday, which is on March 18 this year. Many local residents have shown concern about children touching this substance and harming themselves.
Former Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou, has expressed concerns in the past about the practice of many farmers leaving poison around their premises to ward off packs of stray dogs that have formed in certain areas. “In their attempt to make sure hunters stay off their farms, farmers are placing poison which can be dangerous for any animal,” he said.
More details can be found on the facebook page ‘Cyprus Poison Altert – Skippy Kit.’