Nationalist Party MP Mario Galea has urged the government to propose legal amendments to ensure the proper regulation of zoos and exotic animals while calling out the minister for giving in to ‘bully’ zookeeper Anton Cutajar.
“Minister, the White Paper was good, but you backtracked because of that bully,” Galea said in Parliament yesterday.
He was referring to zookeeper Anton Cutajar, who had spoken out about new proposed regulations last year, even saying in a video uploaded to Facebook that he would be speaking with the minister about the proposals.
More than 12 months later, and the proposals have not been implemented, with Galea accusing MPs of being clowns for not taking action.
He acknowledged that the problems had started under a Nationalist administration, but said it was now time to take action.
“We voted against circuses, but we don’t condemn the zoos which keep getting bigger and bigger,” Galea said, adding that he was against principle of using animals for one’s pleasure.
Another reason regulation was sorely needed, Galea said, was the importation of the exotic animals found in zoos.
“How did they end up here? How is it that animals on the brink of extinction are roaming around in zoos?” Galea asked, adding that it wasn’t just zoos that were the problem.
“Is anyone investigating how they got into the country? Do we know how many exotic animals are in Malta?”
He said he was aware of many cases of exotic animals being kept in people’s homes, including in a basement in one particular case.
Galea urged the public to boycott all zoos if they truly believed in animal rights, insisting that Malta was not able to cater to such wild animals.
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