10,000 signatures have been collected by Animal Protectors Malta, an online pressure group, the signatories are stating that unless their demands are met and the authorities agree to improve Animal rights and conditions they will abstain from voting during the upcoming general election.
One of the organisers of the group uploaded a photo on social media showing the 10,000 signatures, the team has also uploaded a very detailed proposal with suggested amendments to the Animal welfare act and also outlines how some parts of the present legal framework is not being enforced.
The group is stating that many investigations have led to pets or farm animals being kept in dire conditions, tied, or in poor state of surroundings. Officials from Animal Welfare Department deem, as long as water and food may be present and a shelter (irrelevant if such is a rusty plank or cardboard) such animals are found to be in good state, breaking the Law within itself as in most cases it is very clear that such animals are beyond stressed and are suffering greatly.
Pets kept tied, or on roofs,(rain or shine, in severely cold weather or extreme heat conditions, day in day out) with no human contact unless when being fed , is a definite Law breaking measure as is definitely not how the Law stipulates the standards and has interpreted how an animal/animals are to be kept and treated. In cases whereby dogs must be kept tied due to aggression or other excuse, owners must register with the Department with an investigation of Officials following to verify and check condition of such pets. People caught keeping dogs tied without having registered will be fined.
The group goes on to suggest that an Animal Tribunal in 3-4 major Local Councils should be set up, with specifically trained Local Wardens in each Locality tackling reports of abuse cases or animal related reports (2-3 Police officers in each Police station to be trained and work specifically to investigate animal related cases), accompany wardens if need be, and have the right to forcefully enter a premises where proof of suffering or abused animals is reported).Lawyers Appointed instead of magistrates to hear such cases must be fully knowledgeable and sensitive to animal needs and rights. Hefty fines may be enforced for animals kept in dire conditions/ dogs being tied endlessly, latch key cats and dogs that are illegal, noise pollution fines due to constant barks or cries of dogs that bark or howl constantly due to stress in their environment. Pets that are found not to possess a chip and be registered as Law stipulates (wardens should have chip reader available and check owners walking their dogs) Currently Law permits pets may be put down by owner simply because owner cannot care for him or doesn’t want him any longer and not due to illness or suffering of such pet. “This MUST change” the group insists.