Although we often hear about animal rights, there are still those who think they have a divine right over the lives of animals. Popolin discussed animal cruelty and the progress that needs to be made in this regard.
The Commissioner for Animal Rights, Alison Bezzina explained that although in terms of law and our ideas we are quite advanced compared to other countries, when analysing enforcement we still have a long way to go. where to advance; “A perfect, unenforced law is worthless.” On the other hand Ariane Aquilina, an animal activist from Time For Change explained that the lack of education was leading to animal owners not understanding what is good and what is bad for the welfare of animals. She stressed that it was not enough for a cat or a dog to have a roof over its head and food and drink.
In Malta we hear of several cases of cruelty, among them dogs that were bashed or beaten to death, a crime for which the dog owner was recently sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of five thousand euros. Another reported case was that of a Maltese man who was on his way back to Malta from Reggio Calabria, who was found with a thousand protected birds inside his vehicle. Another person was accused of raising a number of dogs at a construction site without shelter from the sun and rain. The person was reported by a person living nearby who could no longer bear the dog’s howling.
In recent days Government has announced a proposal where the Court will have the power to prohibit persons convicted of animal cruelty from having other animals, temporarily or permanently.
Asked by the presenter why this animal abuse is still taking place, Bezzina stressed that the primary reason was ignorance. She added that there was need for stronger enforcement where even the perpetrators of these crimes are broadcast, thus increasing the responsibility when choosing to raise an animal.