Editorial: Animal welfare is everyone’s business

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 July, 2022 at 11:05 am by Andre Camilleri

Why it might not be considered a topic for a business newspaper, it is strongly believed that animal welfare is everyone’s business. This week, a shocking image emerged on our daily portal of a deceased dog tied to a shopping basket. The Office of the Commissioner for Animal Welfare posted the same video, taken Sunday, of the decomposing dog floating about three nautical miles from Ta’ Cenc. Commissioner for Animal Welfare, Alison Bezzina said in a Facebook post that these “atrocities” happen on a daily basis.

“The feeling is of unimaginable anger and frustration, and at the same time, absolute helplessness is soul destroying,” Bezzina said. She said that the culprit must be caught. Bezzina appealed for whoever spots the dog to contact the Commission so that they can check if it is chipped and figure out a definite cause of death, something we urge all readers should see the poor thing to do. It’s imperative to find out who could cause such suffering to an animal, one we would presume was killed in such a barbaric manner. Dear readers, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Office of the Commissioner for Animal Welfare on 2292 8618; if you have any information, they have said the person reporting any information could choose to remain anonymous.

As a collective nation, it is for each and every one of us to remain vigilant for such incidences of abuse or neglect and feel comfortable reporting without fear of repercussions. Whether it’s something as utterly horrific as this dog at sea or chained dogs left out in the blistering sun. We can all do our bit to help animals too. We all know temperatures are peaking and that we share our islands with thousands of stray cats.

Hundreds of kind-hearted souls trap neuters and release these felines with minimal financial backup and limited neutering vouchers each year. Volunteers feed the cats daily and tend to their needs, trying their best to rehome kittens and curb populations from escalating out of control.- Although some may already feel that they are. Government must step in more to help.

This week,  Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Animal Welfare, Alicia Bugeja Said uploaded a Facebook post offering neutering vouchers, yet more vouchers are needed, and desperately so.

Help with food, sheltering and medications is required at a minimum and more government intervention is required, how can it be millions are spent on bridges, flyovers and continuous development, yet we cannot help Malta’s stray populations?

Mahatma Gandhi famously said that “the moral progress of a nation and its greatness can be judged by how it treats its animals”. If that’s the case, let us pray someone is looking at Malta’s most vulnerable stray populations and trying to find solutions to support, fast- both for the cats and the volunteers who give up their spare time to help when others so quickly close their eyes and walk on by.

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