Maltese wardens will soon be equipped to scan dogs in the streets to ensure they are microchipped in a bid to better control and understand Malta’s dog population.
As part of a discussion on NET TV’s Għand il-Vegan, host Darryl Grima asked Animal Welfare Commissioner Alison Bezzina whether it was time for wardens to be given chip readers to check pets in the streets.
“This will happen, with the help of the community police and local council,” Bezzina said, explaining what the current situation was like.
“Currently, you cannot fine someone for having an unchipped dog – they need to be taken to court… and we know how courts are, they can take a while,” she pointed out.
Under Maltese law, all dogs in the Maltese islands have to be micro-chipped and registered. However, with dogs – both strays and pets – being found unchipped by Maltese authorities, many are calling for stronger safeguards to ensure that dogs are being tracked, especially without any easy fines or other quick punishments available to authorities to deter contravening owners.
“It would still be a good idea to have the chip reader today – even though people can’t be fined under the current law, they can learn a lesson and be taught a better way – if we do find them without a microchip, at least we can explain why it’s important to get one.”
Do you think wardens should carry a pet chip reader?