For those wondering what in the world has happened to the "chained dog law" in Malta, here is the English translation provided by Janet Camilleri, of the 5 question summary of the sad situation. Its not a word for word translation but Janet tried to give the gist of the interview.
Why hasn't the law for "chained dogs" been passed yet?
This law has been sitting on the shelf for nearly two years now. At the end of last year the parliamentary secretary for animal rights made a public promise.
He promised in public statement on TVM that this law, that they support fully will be introduced at the beginning of this year.
Unfortunately even though we are half way through the year nothing has happened, considering that this law is in no way controversial and has no opposition, it is hard to understand why it is still sitting on the shelf so to speak, especially when you consider how many controversial laws this government has managed to pass recently; laws that I would never have dreamed would have been passed in my lifetime. The only opposition I can think of is from those who actually chain their dogs and the fact that they will have to find kinder ways to secure their dogs. Another reason cold be stemming from concerns from animal welfare that they don't have the resources to cope with the many call outs that will result from the change of law. Considering our country is in the middle of an economic boom I can see no reason why some of these resources can't be directed towards animal welfare to help implement this law as soon as possible.
What more can be done to help get this law implemented ?
As a group we have tried many many ways, photo shoots, meetings with MP.'s, protests, newspaper interviews and many other methods.
I can't think of anything else we can do except keep on insisting, keep putting pressure on the relevant authorities and never never giving up, never losing hope, this is a just law, and a law that MUST be implemented as soon as possible, we must keep on fighting for it!
I will continue to fight to have this law passed and for other animal welfare issues to be implemented. It is also a medium to help inform and educate the public about animal welfare issues and causes.
Why shouldn't a dog be chained?
There are many reasons, and unfortunately there are still many people who don't understand why, even though they claim to love their dogs.
Many still have the old fashioned belief that it isn't cruel, this needs to change. When you consider that many many years ago dogs evolved because we chose to domesticate them, bring them into our homes, away from their natural pack like existence as wolves, so now they no longer move in packs as their ancestors did, but rely on us for their food, water, shelter and companionship, we are now their family or pack, so to keep a dog on a short chain where it could easily become entangled and not be able to reach water, food, shelter or shade and also deny it our company is undeniably cruel, the dog will also be extremely vulnerable, to attacks from other dogs etc, where it cannot escape or defend itself properly, when you consider that we as a civilised society only deny liberty to our criminals, that shows us how precious freedom or liberty is, to be chained day in day out, is totally unacceptable, what crime have dogs committed to be punished so cruelly?
What are other countries laws regarding chained dogs?
Unfortunately there still some countries that allow dogs to be chained, but...
considering Malta's progressive stance on many laws, that shouldn't make any difference to our changes in the law.There are many countries in the EU that have banned chaining dogs and these are the countries who we should choose to join.
What is you appeal, to the authorities and members of the public?
I would like to appeal to the authorities concerned, to give the utmost importance to this law and to other animal rights.
Even though animals have no voice, and even though animals have no vote, this country is full of animals lovers who DO have a voice, animal lovers who DO have a vote, I appeal to the public in general to please keep up the pressure, don't give up hope, this law has to be implemented as soon as possible, simply because it is a JUST law and it is the right thing to do for our companions, who always love us so unconditionally.