Animal Welfare’s level of response is frightening (update on construction site story)

By November 17, 2019 December 18th, 2019 No Comments


Following last Sunday’s story involving three dogs and other animals being kept on a construction site, and this Facebook video  showing a man abusing his dog on the same construction site, I sent the below questions to Animal Welfare :

  1. This case was first reported to the Animal Welfare Directorate on the 26th October. The confiscation happened on the 10th November. Was an inspection conducted between the 26th October and the 10th November?
  2. If an inspection was not conducted, why not?
  3. If an inspection was in fact conducted, why weren’t the animals confiscated before this alarming video was uploaded on Facebook?
  4. Will the person responsible for this grave breach of the Animal Welfare Act be prosecuted for cruelty, not chipping one of his dogs, negligence and chaining ?
  5. If the person responsible will be prosecuted, please forward arraignment details (date, time, Magistrate)
  6. Will Animal Welfare push to ban this man from ever owning other animals ?
  7. In April 2019, the Commissioner for Animal Welfare, Mag Denis Montebello, recommended the setting up of a ‘Court Section’ within The Animal Welfare Directorate to deal with legal prosecutions such as this one. Has there been any progress in this regard?

These questions were sent on Monday 11th November, in the morning. That same evening, I received an email from the Director of Animal Welfare Mr. Noel Montebello, saying :

Your email has been noted and a reply will follow.

But it wasn’t until Friday 15th November (5 days later) and following 4 reminders, that I received an answer to two out of the seven questions.  Answers were as follows :

Dear Ms Bezzina,

On the contrary to what was reported yes an inspection was conducted immediately.  The report was launched with Animal Welfare on the 27th October 2019 at 8:37, an inspection was conducted on the 27th October 2019 at 15.57.

Details of case cannot be disclose in view of pending criminal proceedings.

However, feel free to enquire any information after court decision.

So now we know that Animal Welfare had gone on this same site just a few days before the video was uploaded on Facebook, and did not deem it necessary to confiscate the animals. But once the video was uploaded they changed their mind. Of course we want to know why and we’re not going anywhere until we find out.  Below is my reply to Mr. Noel Montebello.

Dear Mr. Montebello,

Thank you for your email, but even though it comes four days later, it only answered two questions out of seven.
If criminal proceedings are in fact being filed, then the answers to the remaining five questions should be, or should soon be, public.
Question 7 is not even tied to this case in particular but generally related to this sort of situation.
Kindly consider this Reminder no 5 as I await your answers.


View Facebook video here



Mr / Ms  Alison Bezzina 

With reference to your request dated 26/11/2019 received by Malta Police Force, we regret to inform you that your request/complaint cannot be met because: the document requested is excluded from the scope of this Act by virtue of article 5.

Request is being refused in terms of Article 87(1) and (2) of Chapter 164 of the Laws of Malta.

Please note that this case is still being investigated by the Executive Police and charges have not yet been filed in the Court Registry, therefore details regarding the Magistrate, date and time of hearing are not available as yet.

In the event that you are not in agreement with the Public Authority’s decision, you may seek review through the Public Authority’s Internal Complaints Procedure (specified below).  If such review has been availed of, and you are still not in agreement with the outcome, you may seek investigation and review by the Information and Data Protection Commissioner in accordance with article 23 of the Freedom of Information Act.


Malta Police Force


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