The Malta Independent 28 June 2022, Tuesday

Launch of public consultation on the preparation of a National Animal Welfare Strategy

Thursday, 19 May 2022, 16:56 Last update: about 2 months ago

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Anton Refalo, together with Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Animal Rights Alicia Bugeja Said, launched a public consultation on the preparation of a National Animal Welfare Strategy.

The aim of this public consultation is to gather information and opinions from the public and relevant stakeholders to guide the drafting of a National Animal Welfare Strategy.

Some of this public consultation's objectives include: To review current animal welfare measures; To consult with activists, NGO's, local councils, sanctuaries, and farmers, with the aim of exploring how these entities can be supported and work together with public authorities to improve animal welfare; To acknowledge the role of primary producers and work to prevent disproportionate burdens being placed upon them; To consider an increase in animal welfare measures in Malta focusing on groomers, boarding kennels, trainers, and other related professions, to assess whether more needs to be done to increase the level of legal protection for certain species of animals.

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Minister Refalo explained that "this public consultation is giving the opportunity for all stakeholders to continue to voice their concerns in support of animal rights. I believe that a number of crucial points will emerge from this process, and these will eventually be included in the national policy."

Minister Refalo highlighted the need to focus on the issues at hand, stating that today's launch is a result of months of work with relevant stakeholders. He also mentioned how in the past two years, there were various discussions held with those involved in the sector. He concluded that "working to strengthen animal rights is a priority for this government, and that is why we have a number of electoral initiatives that we will work hard to implement in the coming years."

Parliamentary Secretary Bugeja Said, said that "animals are beautiful and complex creatures that have different needs based on their species, breed and role in society. I look forward to this much-needed move and as parliamentary secretary responsible for the animal welfare sector, I am honoured to be launching this public consultation." The parliamentary secretary stated that this electoral pledge is proof that animal rights are on the forefront of this government's agenda.

The ministry will be organising a number of public consultation sessions during the AGRIFAIR that will be held between the 20th and 22nd May at MFCC, Ta' Qali. All those interested in attending these public consultation sessions can register by calling 22924203.

The public consultation document can be accessed on: https://meae.gov.mt/en/Public_Consultations/MAFA/Pages/Consultations/PublicconsultationonthepreparationofaNationalAnimalWelfareStrategy.aspx. The Public Consultation will close on the 17th of June 2022.


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