Leading politicians, personalities and everyday citizens have come out in support of newly-appointed Animal Rights Commissioner Alison Bezzina after a popular zookeeper uploaded an aggressive rant targeting her.
In the now-deleted video, Anton Cutajar says if Bezzina keeps talking about zoos, he will “send a letter” to have her removed from her position.
1. The video outraged many across Malta, with Opposition Leader calling on Prime Minister Robert Abela to condemn the tirade and disassociate himself from Cutajar.
2. Dean for the Faculty of Wellbeing and radio presenter Andrew Azzopardi asked what kind of powers Cutajar thought he had, asking for authorities to clarify their position on this.
3. Former AD leader Arnold Cassola filed a complaint to the cybercrime police over the “threatening and bullying” of the new commissioner.
4. And animal rights group Time For Change showed solidarity with the new commissioner as well.
“It really makes us wonder what is going on with zoo keepers in Malta when one can threaten to remove a public official from their post!”
5. Xarabank host and prominent activist Peppi Azzopardi said he was “proud” of Bezzina for having ruffled Cutajar.
6. Bezzina herself took to Facebook to give a short but encouraging message to her supporters.
“Don’t misinterpret my silence for inaction or withdrawal. Animal Welfare will always come first.”
Cutajar, who runs L-Arka ta’ Noe in Siġġiewi, had uploaded a 30-minute rant to social media attacking Bezzina after she said “exotic animals do not belong in cages”.
“If you keep going on like this, I’ll write a letter to who I need to, and you won’t last as commissioner. This is a conflict of interest – you don’t care about animals, you care about zoos. And not about all the seven zoos in Malta, but Anton’s, because he got the signatures,” he says, in reference to an anti-illegal migration petition he was a major part of.