At long last, the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights has published the legislation on Pet Grooming, Pet Sitting, Pet boarding and Dog Breeding.

“This document proposes key legislative changes to regulate the services related to the care of animals, and the breeding of companion animals more specifically:

•             The Grooming of Pet Animals
•             Pet Sitting
•             Pet Boarding
•             Dog Breeding”

The consultation document may be accessed by clicking the link:

https://agricultureservices.gov.mt/en/ahwd/Documents/home/consultationLegislationPetGrooming-Sitting-Boarding-Dogbreeding-EN.pdf

On the same page, the public is invited to give its input with the deadline being that of 6th November. One can also remain anonymous. I invite the readers from my heart to read the document and give their input so that we start by shaping this government, and we start with the brain.

No hurry, dear ministry and dear Labour government! About time! This industry has been growing fast and the irresponsibility is rampant. We all know of the incidents which happened at one specific pet sitter, for example with one dog, Ruby, which has not been found yet and the other dog, Kim, which was found dead while being under the care of the same pet sitter.

What struck me on this page is the paragraph which reads:

“Animal Welfare is a priority to the Maltese Government and its commitment is evident in the Government’s work programme which includes various measures ranging from concerted effort to invest in animal welfare schemes and infrastructure, providing direct assistance to animal NGOs and sanctuaries, as well as enhancing the national legislative framework with the aim of providing the best care for companion animals.
Over the years, animal welfare interest and awareness has moved up Malta’s national agenda and several Government structures such as the Animal Health and Welfare Department, the Animal Welfare Council and the Office of the Commissioner for Animal Welfare have been set up. In parallel, such awareness has led to a push for more legal instruments to cater for the protection of animals, a commitment that the Government has pledged through the electoral manifesto.
“Fiż-żmien li ġej ser indaħħlu strateġija nazzjonali għall-ħarsien u t-trattament xieraq tal-annimali u nesieġu li jkun hemm standards stabbiliti għall-breeders, trainers, groomers u pet sitters.”

Dear readers, when you are reading such statements, I suggest that you are free from sipping a cup of tea or coffee or from nibbling some food, lest you choke on the joke above.

Can the Labour government explain to us in what way is animal welfare its priority? Did the Maltese nation miss something by any chance? If we missed anything, then dear readers, we must all go somewhere to do some rehab. Are you pulling our leg, dear Labour government?

Yes, true, you have come up with a website for all the animals at Għammieri where people can choose which animal they would like to adopt or foster. The idea is good and so is its motive, but can you tell me how will it encourage people to do so? Can you tell me how will the animals be taken out of there, if you have a nation which is struggling with inflation and thus, taking in a pet increases their expenses, and if you have a part of a nation which still regards animals as disgusting creatures without any feelings? Couldn’t the money be spent better for now?

Can you, government, explain why Għammieri does not have an adjacent clinic, and rehabilitation centre, where animals who need an operation or any medical treatment, can be properly taken care of?

Have harsher laws and penalties been introduced for all those who are found guilty of maltreatment and neglect of animals? Are such people educated so they have a change of heart and become loving citizens? Any person who abuses an animal will not think twice to transfer that treatment to a human.

What about those stories of all those dogs who were confiscated from breeders but who then, were again found to be keeping and breeding more dogs, who were found neglected, and in a pitiful state? Has there been any reforms? What about the current animal welfare laws which are flawed and a flop?

What about having a building set up with professional animal trainers who will help all those dogs at different sanctuaries and at Għammieri which, for some reason or other, were bred in an abusive or undisciplined environment, which has now made the pet end in a sanctuary due to aggressive or unsociable behaviour, with very little chance to be adopted?

Have we ever seen Refalo or any other minister, visiting sanctuaries? Have we ever had a minister adopting a dog or a cat from any of our sanctuaries or better still from Għammieri? Is the government aware that all sanctuaries are full, and that more and more dogs are getting abandoned lately? Is the government aware of the many dogs and cats which are found skin and bones, lacking basic needs like food and water?

What is the government doing to educate the nation to love and respect animals? What is the government doing to educate the nation on how to raise and train dogs? What is the government doing to tackle the problem of stray cats? What is the government doing to education the nation that adopting a pet is a long commitment and that abandonment is not an option? What is the Labour government doing to educate people to neuter their pets? We all know that education can rebuild a nation and that it should start with educating children. But the government is more interested in brainwashing and indoctrinating children with the LGBTIQA+ agenda at schools, or with unnecessary academical knowledge which won’t be much useful for them at a later stage in life.

What about using the media and billboards to pass on educational messages in favour of animal welfare? At least, for once, we won’t have the media and the tell-a-vision pushing agendas. What about educating people that animals have a right to share the world with us and that abusing them is cowardly and hateful?

What is the Labour government doing to help sanctuaries which depend a lot on public donations and food throughout the year?

What is the Labour government doing to help the dogs and cats kept at its ministry’s building – that of Għammieri?

What is the Labour government doing to help those with low income, but who lovingly own a pet, take care of it when it needs medical attention? Many vets are becoming too expensive which often is leading pet owners to neglect their pet, not intentionally but because they are not able to do so financially. Right now, it is harder for such people to cope, due to this ever-rising cost of living and inflation. Can the government make a feasable offer to these people?

What about the APH Veterinary Hospital, which is currently closed?

Dear Labour government, when are you going to really bring a positive change in this sector, so that you can proudly say that you have shaped the future of pet care and animal welfare?

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