Higher Penalties for Animal Cruelty are Useless

UPDATE

These dogs have been seized by animal welfare and legal action should be taken against their owner.

***

Last week Hon Clint Camilleri announced that there is going to be an amendment to the law that will permit higher penalties against acts of animal cruelty.

Awesome news, right? But wait. Before you rejoice you need to know the reality of the situation.

In fact you need to know how these penalties are absolutely useless, how the law is not the problem, and how politicians and authorities are just trying to blind sight us with lip service.

You see, the truth is that the system has been designed in a way to make it almost impossible to accuse anyone of cruelty, let alone prosecute and fine them!

Here’s just one example that I witnessed first hand this week:

1.Six months ago these very unlucky Chihuahuas were born

2. They were most likely a result of overbreeding, inbreeding and an uneducated farmer, come breeder.

3. Ever since they were born they’ve been kept in this dirty derelict garage, at first in small cages, and now between these wooden palettes with cobwebs over their heads and dirty sawdust and their own faeces under their paws.

4. The space they are in is no bigger than 2m X 1m and there is also a fox terrier sharing the same space with them. This is the legal requirement for one dog of that size not five.

5. For six whole months, these puppies have never seen the light of day, have no source of natural light in their pen, and have never been walked or played with.

6. The puppies as well as their parents and the fox terrier are fed a mix of cheap dry food and wet stale bread.

  1. 7. The food is lowered to them in rusty cans with a string, their water looks like oxtail soup and the owner keeps the pups under control by banging and swinging his walking stick at the pups who are terrified and shake in his presence.8. Their owner who has been trying to sell these pups for months, admitted to not going to this garage on a daily basis, not separating the siblings even when they’ve come of age, and wait for it… he also admitted to helping the males with their sexual needs as a way to make them bond to him – yes you’ve read well!

    9. The case was reported to Animal Welfare several times. The first time that I’m aware of, happened around four years ago through a contact of Moira Delia.10. At the time, the pups were in a very bad state, so much so that the person who adopted them (and made the report) had to have all their teeth removed and cover many medical expenses.

    11. One of them, had such a bad skin infection, she lost all of her hair which, never grew back.

    12. Another one had a broken pelvis from giving birth too often.

    13. The last time this same case was reported to Animal Welfare, was in my presence, on the 27th February

    14. This means that, following that first report, four years ago, the breeder was still able to breed more litters and have more pups destined to face the same painful future as the first litter.

    15. On the 28th February, the person who reported the case, called Animal Welfare for a follow up on her initial report the day before. This is when she was told that, an inspection had already been done, that there aren’t any inspectors on duty to go again, and that Animal Welfare is not obliged to give the complainant information about what has been done (if anything).

    16. After sending AW photos of the case, insisting further and involving the Director of Animal Welfare Mr. Noel Montebello, now, four days later, we are still waiting for Animal Welfare to inspect the place again; we don’t know if it will be done at all, and it’s likely that the owner will have to be advised before the inspection is done because he does not reside on the premises. This would give him a chance to ‘fix things’ or God forbid, get rid of the puppies in ways I’d rather not think of.

    The Animal Welfare Act Part IV 8(4) says:
    “Any person shall take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible or for which he agrees to look after shall be met to the extent required by good practice and in pursuance to the good health and well-being of the animal. For the purposes of this sub-article, animal needs include the provision of suitable environment, provision of a healthy diet, allowance for the animal to exhibit normal behavioural patterns, provision of suitable housing, segregation from other animals where necessary and protection from pain, suffering, injury and diseases.”

    But with this system, lack of resources and absurd mentality from the people who are meant to have Animal Welfare at the top of their agenda, Hon Clint Camilleri’s amendment to the law is as useful as a zipper on a turd!

    Should you wish to have a look at what the law says have a look here

    Should you wish to do something to help this situation have a look here

    Final update 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Higher Penalties for Animal Cruelty are Useless”

  1. Animal cruelty needs to be expanded to not only include domestic animals .. shooting at and maiming a migrating bird is cruelty, even if it’s legal under hunting laws it’s illegal under cruelty legislation. Same with local councils organising airgun target shooting bonanzas and live pigeons. Non-domesticated animals held in tiny cages in the numerous ‘zoos’ that have sprang up around the islands – this is ok while circuses with animals are not – what’s the difference and how is the law that outlaws circuses loopholed to allow them? How is the cruelty law loopholed to allow killing birds and other animals for fun? I agree that higher fines will make no difference – enforcement and making the laws watertight and easy to apply comes first.

  2. If you must breed animals to make money on them at least look after them properly, they have feelings too! Although I wish more people would adopt some of the multitude of stray and rescued animals and help to make breeding and puppy farming less lucrative.

  3. How can anyone this type and more like them being left doing this cruelty. Stop it now. There are a lot of breeders doing it just for the sake of mine I myself met one but I realised after some discussion’s with this so called breeder.
    STOP THIS RIGHT NOW IF YOU ALL HAVE A HEART

  4. As they say “Bad things happen when good men do nothing” and it pains me to have to say there are just not enough good men (or women) to stand up and say “ENOUGH” We all have a voice. If you see or know of an injustice toward an animal..SPEAK OUT! Stop being afraid. Do whats right. If I can take a Maltese police man to court for cruelty to a horse AND bring a bad situation to light EVERYONE is capable of shining a light on the cruel monsters among us who call themselves human beings…

  5. I have seen big dogs locked up in the old dug out shelters at the bottom of the bastion at Marsamxett – barking and almost rabid. Three in each of two or three of those shelters there. Perhaps guarding what was hidden in the shelter but these dogs were being housed there. The only daylight they had was the small opening of the shelter entrance, barred with metal gates. Another at he far tip of same Marsamxett area, there is a bar there with a stone terrace. The owners’ (two females) dog is made to stay in the back toilet under the wash hand basin as customers come in and out to do their business. It is one scared and humbled dog, that much I know. I wish I had set it free the night I was there two years ago. Bet it is still there, today.

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