Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Animals: The Abandoned & Abused

Animal Rights is an issue which is close to our green hearts, here at Greenhouse. Francesca Saliba, an Agriculture student at UoM and Greenhouse Executive Member, sheds some light on the truth about animal cruelty, exploitation and neglect in a four-part article.

Despite the small size of our country, various situations brutally shock animal lovers of all ages. In every response I witness, the majority of conflicts bring about, that actions speak louder than words.
The majority of people go about their lives without realising just how much animals suffer on a daily basis. For instance, cab horses that are used daily for tourists, go through a great deal of stress working whether it’s raining or very hot. They are used for human benefit, transporting them from place to place, with no drinking stops or sheltered areas where the horse is protected from natural elements.

In November 2009 TAWS (World association for transport animal welfare studies) proposed facilities to take care of these poor horses. Structures th
at would give shelter to the horse while waiting for customers. These aim of these structures are to keep the horse in the right conditions even in Malta`s hot weather. Other issues like hygiene and water were also mentioned however it all fell on deaf ears. Now in 2011, Arrangements are being made to try and compromise a sort of solution to help these innocent creatures on duty, especially since the proposed sum of a shelter costs €20,000. Petitions and comment papers are making others more aware because every person can help save those that have no voice in our daily lives. They depend on us to never give up on this struggle.[1]
Furthermore, I think that more investigations should be carried out, especially with regards to dog fighting events which are a shocking reality frequently heard in the Maltese island despite the fact that they are illegal. A new law on animal welfare specifically lays down that "animal fights shall not be organised and nor shall animals be entered for animal fights".

Anyone who violates this law "shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than Lm100 but not exceeding Lm20,000 or to a term of imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or to both such fine and imprisonment". Vets also witness these agendas but are bound to be secretive or afraid do speak out. In some cases, the owners even invent excuses as to not get caught. Last reported case was found to be in 2002 in Siggiewi from an anonnomous caller but no one was arrested as they left in a hurry and even left things behind. Some people simply do not understand the extreme amount of pain, suffering and torture dogs go through, whether the dog is the winner or the loser. [2]

Francesca & Joseph with volunteers from Birdlife during organisations' week 2011.

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