The future of Maltese stray cats might be in peril. A photo posted to Facebook shows blue crystals (snail poison) spread over a piece of raw fish. The idea behind it is the cat is intrigued by the smell, goes to take a bite, and suffers tremendously as a consequence.
It’s an epidemic that’s not new to Maltese shores. In places that have a large stray cat population, snail poison pesticides are mixed in with cat food. When that cat or other pet consumes the food, it dies shortly after. This poison is also life-threatening to children.
“A number of people have been in contact with me that there are someone nasty leaving rat and snail poison around different places around Malta to exterminate stray cats,” local animal rights activist Edward Zahra told Lovin Malta. “This practice apparently has been going on for a number of years, as in 2015 it was said that it was going to be taken care of in Parliament, but no MP did anything. People are concerned about this, as even domestic cats have fallen victim of this. People are complaining against the government as rat and snail poison should be banned, as it is also killing other fauna that reside in rubble walls. Not excluding the fact, that it can mix with rain water and deep down to our water table. The situation has to be looked into. It is irresponsible for the government to sell such toxins to everyone.”
In 2015, the animal activist NGO Animal Guardians Malta petitioned the government to call for stronger animal welfare laws and in an appeal for a ban on the import of snail poison.
It seems that not much has been changed since then, since yesterday a photo was posted to a Maltese Facebook group Il-Kotra of the crystal-covered fish. The person responsible for the post let everyone know that since taking the photo, the poison has been removed.