Activists from Vuċi għall-Annimali came up with a number of proposals to encourage the government to implement a structural change in the Animal Welfare (AW) department – to look after and protect the welfare and well-being of the animals.
During the TV program, Vuċi għall-Annimali‘s Darryl Grima and Althea Galea mentioned this proposal whereby the AW Department should be split into two.
The regulatory aspect of the department would remain in the hands of the traditional governmental department – whilst the care of animals is to be transferred to an agency set up specifically for this.
The AW department should not be operating as a sanctuary – as it currently is – while at the same time it should be affiliated with sanctuaries, as the regulator with a duty to enforce regulations.
The limitations of space, capacity and human resources of the department is limiting the total possible number of animal confiscations and collections from the streets.
It was proposed that the agency should be taking care of:
● The animals in it’s care, and there should be a suitable place for every type of animal that can be found here in Malta, since when there are cases of abuse the state needs to intervene
● Neutering campaigns for cats and dogs
● The agency is to recruit people who want to work in this sector, while providing training for all workers
● There should be financial investment so that the agency can function properly, even by having basic things such as appropriate vehicles and tools
● The long promised rehoming centre of Ta’ Qali should be built and handed over to this agency
● The agency is to make partnerships with animal NGOs so that it can effectively increase the number of animals that can be kept not only dogs and cats, but other animals
Meanwhile the Department would continue to:
● Conduct inspections on violations of laws or cruelty to animals
● The enforcement of microchips
● Provides funds and grants to animal associations to operate better
● The investigative and prosecutional role in relation to all aspects of the law, as well as
legislation that we hope will eventually happen such as the regulations for breeders,
● Education and information campaigns
Vuċi għall-Annimali has also recommended that the department as well as the agency should be a Ministry separate and distinct from that of Agriculture.
These proposals come hot on the heels of two worrying incidents involving animals and leaving them in a legal grey area.
One incident involved a dog breeder being mauled by his own dogs which were left without food and water for over 24 hours as no one knew what to do with them.
The other involved a contractor accused of fraud having been found with dozens of exotic animals. The list included seven lions, six tigers, eight pumas, two leopards, two black leopards and sixteen horses found at his farms in the limits of Rabat and Siġġiewi.
Do you agree that there should be more facilities for animals caught in legal disputes?