Malta Government and Maltese- Cruelty Towards Animals

20 years of Nationalist Government in Malta and the same 20 years of Labour Party in opposition have not managed to come up with one iota of law in favor of animals and the rights of animals. There is regular reports of sever cruelty on animals, especially to dogs and cats and hardly anybody was brought to justice, and those who have been brought to justice have been given either a verbal warning or a pitiful fine.


Even all the local counsels are in support of cruelty towards animals, as most public places in most localities in Malta are out of bounds for cats and dogs, instead of dedicating an area LIKE ALL OTHER EU COUNTRIES, where dogs can be taken too.

It is not a laughing matter as also our tourist industry doesn’t give a hoot about animal welfare, try and find a hotel or accommodation in Malta that accepts pets……….none, try and find a restaurant in Malta where pets are accepted……..again none.

Pet lovers, please, protest with your EU reps to bring Malta in line immediately on animal rights, and boycott Malta till the Maltese authorities take concrete action in animal welfare, protest by not collaborating in this cruelty towards animals by holidaying elsewhere where animal rights are respected, this is not medieval times, in 2009 animals have rights,

Malta was and still not ready to fulfill it’s full obligation of EU laws and should be treated as such.


I am adamant to shame MALTA and the MALTESE till I read that someone is serving behind bars for cruelty towards animals, and will expose this on every available animal lover websites and Touristic websites till the Maltese learn their deserved lesson.

Have a read of this new report on a local newspaper and readers comments.

Tuesday, 14th July 2009 – 09:41CET

Rescue team moves in to save three dogs

Desperate barks echoed through the otherwise deserted Għajn Tuffieħa barracks yesterday as an animal rescue team moved in to save three dogs suspected of being kept there for illegal fighting.

One small dog, a mixed breed just a few months old, had its head stuck between two bricks preventing it from reaching the mound of animal intestines beside it that was the only food in sight.

 There was also a bucket of water which, being empty, was of little use to the trapped dog. The chain that held it captive in the make-shift yard in the sweltering sun had burrowed into its skin.

Despite its discomfort, the small creature wagged its tail on seeing rescuers from the Animal Welfare Department and animal NGO Noah’s Ark, who work together to save injured and abandoned strays from the cruel streets.

Animal welfare officer Godric Marston climbed over a wire fence, about two metres high, to free the bitch which he kept calling “pupa” (doll). Once released the dog was clearly grateful as, tail wagging, it kept trying to jump onto its rescuer. Mr Marston’s colleagues then set up a ladder so that the dog could be safely lifted over the fence.

Earlier on, the team rescued a male pit bull that was tied up with a short chain in another yard at the barracks. Beside him lay a pile of pig skin. The dog, about nine months old, was surprisingly friendly, despite the scars on its face and body.

 “The poor thing was tied up in the yard that was easily accessible by other dogs making it completely defenceless in case of attack,” Mr Marston said. Charlie, as Mr Marston called him, cooperated with rescuers and got into the pen that was then lifted into an animal ambulance – a service officially launched last week.

Rescuers also saved another pit bull that was roaming around the barracks alone. This male dog, about nine years old, was too aggressive to handle so it had to be sedated with a dart gun. The three dogs were taken to a vet and are now in the care of the Animal Welfare Department. They will eventually be taken to the Noah’s Ark sanctuary in Mellieħa.

Noah’s Ark founder Fabio Cuschieri said the organisation had been informed about the dogs by passers-by. “I think that, given the circumstances in which they were found, they were being kept there for dog fighting.

This type of cruelty towards animals can’t go on,” he stressed. He has long been insisting on the need to introduce microchipping as it would allow the owners of abandoned animals to be tracked down.

The government has said it hoped that, within the next few years, microchipping would be made obligatory. However this would have to be done following consultation with all stakeholders including animal NGOs and pet owners.


The 24-hour animal ambulance started operating at the beginning of the month following an agreement reached between Noah’s Ark, which runs it, and the government that will be financing it.

Animal lovers can call on 2122 4001 to report an injured or abandoned stray animal.



R Formosa (3 hours, 6 minutes ago)

My heartful thanks to Dr Mario Spiteri, Godrick, Manuel and the rest of this great team. No words can describe how hard they are trying. In just a few months this department improved so much and keeps on improving by the day. I wish them all the very best and please keep up your excellent work. Let us move on to prosecuting the abusers.

David Kinsella (3 hours, 30 minutes ago)

I have thought about the idea of obligatory microchipping to trace the owners of mistreated and/or abandoned dogs. However, couldn’t there be a loophole in the system? I mean, if an owner’s bitch has a litter of puppies, and the owner is a person who mistreats/abandons animals, all he would have to do to cheat the system would simply be not to have the puppies microchipped. In other words, not to register them. As if they never existed. Who would know? So, cruel owners would get round the system through this loophole. I may be wrong here. I would appreciate if someone would confirm this, thank you. I will discuss this with all involved in animal welfare, NGOs included. In theory, this microchipping system is the solution to catching the cruel culprits and in seeing to the well-being of the animals.

Rachel Spiteri (4 hours, 39 minutes ago)

Happy to hear they are taken to Noah’s Ark. Well done to all for saving these lovely dogs.

Joseph abdilla (6 hours, 16 minutes ago)

@jane deguara Jane, you should report this (man!!!) to the police, RSPCA and any other animal caring bodies that there are in Malta. I also think that the church through its sermons ought to try to educate these people to treat all animals and birds with kindness and appreciation.

Lori Massini-Morgan (6 hours, 39 minutes ago)

 How many horror stories do we have to hear before something will be done to these low life devils who torture animals? No pain or suffering would be enough for punishment. I just can’t believe what goes on. People who abuse animals/pets must be stopped. How I wish it would be an eye for an eye in Malta as far as punishment goes. Not a slap on the wrist or nothing at all in most cases. The wonderful rescue team with ambulance came to save a poor little cat who laid on my porch last friday and would not move or eat. I called for help and within an hour or two they came to rescue him. Sadly the poor litlte cat had liver damage and could not be saved. At least he did not die alone in the sun or suffer. I never saw him before but I’m happy he picked my porch to spend his final hours. I can only assume it was God sent him to us. I cared for him as much as I could and showed him as much love as possible. He did not make it but at least his passing was peaceful.

 v.pulis (7 hours, 1 minute ago)

@ Edwin Formosa Despite of all your Holier than thou attitude it is clear that you are incapable to love both man and animals. Your love seems to be rationed whereas animal lovers can find it in them to love both humans and other creatures considered by your kind to be inferior. This misguided notion stems from a passage in the bible which says that God gave man pwer over all the other animals. This phrase has been abused eversince. Mankind is truly at the top of the animal kingdom in as much as he can control his habitat for better or for worse, but that fact puts a heavy burden on his shoulders. Power brings with it responsibility. We owe it to the animals for the harm man has done them all these thousands of years. And oh yes, I’m against abortion.

Teresa Pace (7 hours, 3 minutes ago)

 Re Jane deguara….how about him eating once a week eh? Yes please do report this man in siggiewi. If the public pulls the same rope and reports such incidents, we will surely make a difference. Joe Azzopardi (7 hours, 19 minutes ago) Well done to the people involved in this rescue. Thanks for your work.

Sylvia Zammit (7 hours, 23 minutes ago)

Once again – Well Done to the Animal Welfare Dept staff, Noah’ Ark, and the ones who were courageous enough to report the abuse.The recent spate of cruelty cases just confirms that we have been saying all along -many cases of cruelty are not reported because there was nowhere for the ‘victims’ to go. Hopefully, these poor dogs will get a 2nd chance, though, being pitbulls, this is no easy task. It’s about time we heard of the people who do this being prosecuted and punished – and punished severely too! CRUELTY TO ANIMALS IS A CRIME! Such so called humans (and please don’t call them animals!!!) should rot in jail, not live to brag about it and commit it again.I remember the video of dog fighting that was once shown on TV. Was there ever follow up? NO! As for consulting with stakeholders – why? Since when? I don’t remember being consulted when wardens, VAT and VRT were introduced – to name just 3 things that annoy many of us. I fully agree with Mr.Swindells -Chip now!

rachel blake (7 hours, 35 minutes ago)

mr edwinformosa, not a word of pity for those unfortunate animals. In fact, you’ve used this article to beat the drum about an entirely unrelated issue. You don’t have to be green, socialist or liberal to be moved by the plight of such vulnerable beings. People like you have no idea what true Christianity is all about.

 T Aquilina (7 hours, 41 minutes ago)

Micro-chipping is only part of the solution – newborn puppies and kittens do not come with such features. There is a great need to step-up education in schools and promote prevention such as neutering. And oh, is there a licence for breeding for the purpose of selling, by the way? Not least, the perpetrators must not be allowed to get away with it – or get off too lightly. Lastly, those involved in the rescue have all our gratitude for the humanity and generosity.

 joseph abdilla (7 hours, 43 minutes ago)

@Edwin Formosa. Edwin you always seem to bring the ideology of the catholic church into your arguments. Does your faith consider animals and birds as a lesser being than humans, and so its Ok to harm them, kill them or be cruel to them. I am afraid your thoughts are hypocritical and does not make sense to the civilized masses.

 jane deguara nee hughes (7 hours, 52 minutes ago)

 well done….. there is some cruel people in malta.. and i for 1 will keep that number in my purse, there is 1 man in siggiewi who has dogs in a field tied up when you go to give it water he tells you no i feed them once aweek… so i will be sending more details to the number for sure.

 Joseph Galea (7 hours, 54 minutes ago)

 Well done to the rescuers of these helpless, abused creatures. It is about time that the authorities seriously revamp the laws against animal cruelty and make them very, very onerous. Starting fines should be between Euro 500 and 1000. And clear, sadistic actions should be punishable by imprisonment. Otherwise, these evil criminals will continue to flout the laws – they probably make loads of money from betting on the dog fights.

 Teresa Pace (7 hours, 54 minutes ago)

As bird hunting was brought to a halt, so thus must animal cruelty. In my opinion people who does this stuff deserve steep fines or even jail. A person who harms animals isn’t safe enough to roam freely. Why if a person can harm a defensless animal he can turn to any weak, vulnerable human being any time. So do keep these people in check….for the defensless animals’ sake and for our sake as well.

A cardona (8 hours, 5 minutes ago)

 Reading this article i felt that i was reading parts of the script of a forthcoming Tarantino movie. Can the government push up the fines to proper fines? fines that run into the thousands?? What kind of sick minded being would do such cruelty? I wonder what are his intents to humans. @Edwin Formosa – I agree with you and am all against abortion as its just a packaged word for murdering (unless in life threatening circumstances) but do you feel that leaving these dogs to suffer would have done any justice? If humans do not take care of them who can take care of them?

C Vidal (8 hours, 14 minutes ago)

@Edwin Formosa what one has to do with the other???? over here we are talking about animal cruelty and not abortion……especially abortion in the US. Here we are talking about Malta and not US. Do you know the laws in the US? If he was found guilty it means that some sort of law was broken, but I cannot say whether that was right or wrong as I do not know how the laws are over there and what exactly happened. And what this has to do with the socialists/liberals and all those that you mentioned? being one of these does not mean that you agree with abortion. Neither it means that every animal and dog lover agrees with abortion. far from it for sure, and probably the opposite is true. unfortunately few people like you, that seem to be religiously motivated, try to underestimate animals and their right to live on this planet in a respectful way…and this is because religion always gave importance to humans while putting animals suitable only for their convenience…for entertainment, food etc.

Simone Inguanez (8 hours, 18 minutes ago)

 Do keep up the good work and true dedication. We need to do much better in the fields of education and awareness. Cruelty to animals reflects broader issues.

Ray Buhagiar (8 hours, 18 minutes ago)

From my roof top, in Fgura, I could see at least 4 dogs who are kept daily on the roof. They are never taken out and I doubt if they ever smelt the smell of open fields. Although they have some shelter from the sun, the concrete is surely to hot and I have seen them at times eating their own faeces. These dogs are barking most of the time from lack of attention. Government: Wake up and do like Girona Council in Spain.

adrian aquilina (8 hours, 19 minutes ago)

mr formosa, a person has the will to choose to have an abortion while these dogs had no choice in the is also not your business what another adult does legally with their own body..its not like religion ever did good but always did the darkest of deeds. well done to the rescuers and everyone who gives up time or helps animals and humans in need..mostly its the non religious who do the most for underpriviliged etc as they have no discriminatoin against anyone or for the arrested priest,he should have just preached in his church and left others alone.or can i stand outside a church here and tell everyone about the evils of the church?or are they adult enough to choose their way..

 John Azzopardi (8 hours, 24 minutes ago)

I am sure that not so long ago the Lands Department had vacated the barracks and evicted the squatters. It seems the squatters are back with impunity.

Fleur Spiteri (8 hours, 33 minutes ago)

A big well done to the people who reported this, and a bigger well done to the rescuers. Its about time that we see this sort of action in Malta. Animals have been suffering for too long. Again, well done to all concerned.

R. Azzopardi (8 hours, 34 minutes ago)

@Edwin Formosa Your argument does not hold any water I’m afraid. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Cruelty is cruelty, no matter who the victim is. Human beings and animals both feel the same pain.

edwin formosa (8 hours, 40 minutes ago)

The difference between trying to save a dog and trying to save a human being:- “Oakland pastor Walter Hoye, was sent to jail for peacefully counseling and picketing at a local abortion facility.Hoye was ordered to serve 30 days in county jail by Judge Stuart Hing of the Alameda Superior Court, who found him guilty of unlawfully approaching two persons entering an abortion facility in Oakland and offering information about abortion alternatives.” Any comment from the liberal/green/socialist minded dog lovers?

J. Galea (8 hours, 46 minutes ago)

Well Done! Keep up the good work! S

ean Bonello (8 hours, 47 minutes ago)

@ Matthew Dougall Very well said!!! Charles Micallef (8 hours, 51 minutes ago) The law should be reviewed and make it illegal for anyone to leave dogs permanently chained, be it on a roof or in a yard unless that is their owners agree to be chained next to their animals, for them to find out what it is like………………..! Chaining a dog permanently (and especially) in scorching sun is cruelty in the worse form and there are many of those all over both our Islands ………………!

Diana Posey (8 hours, 52 minutes ago)

 I want to congratulate the Animal Welfare Dept and to Noah’s Ark, and also for the people who reported the findings. One thing I wished they would have done. Just leave the animals in place just for one day (meanwhile provide them some water), and hide somewhere until the owners of the animals arrive to check on them, That way they would be caught in action, their names would be taken and then charged… and after that…monitored, as there is nothing stopping these people from finding another hide-out place and put new dogs there. If names are taken and kept written down in a bad-book or something…. after a while I am sure they will do the same thing over and over again, after the water have calmed down. Hopefully this monitoring will happen in future cases, the persons who are animal abusers, would be known and eventually monitored closely.

Lorraine Vella (8 hours, 53 minutes ago)

Prosit and a heartfelt thanks go to Fabio and to all the animal welfare officers, and also to the passers by who alerted the polices. However, I hope that something will be done to enforce penalties due. Who owns these barracks? Is it the gov, or does it belong to a private citizen? If it belongs to the gov, then this ought to be locked in a way as to make it difficult for anyone to trespass, let alone keep animals there!!!

George Swindells (8 hours, 54 minutes ago)

 CHIP NOW. CHIP NOW. CHIP NOW Not in ‘some yaers time’ CHIP NOW. No more waiting. VETs shoulds the power of ensuring that dogs are chipped before giving any animal back to their owners. Breaders must be registered and required by law to chip ALL animals passing through their kennels. Owners must be held accountable for their dogs, and cats for that matter, and must report to the police any missing animals so the information can be put on a national missing animal data base to enable the tracking of stray dogs. Any body in position of non chipped dogs should have them confiscated and they should get a heavy fine. Well done Animal Welfare and Noahs Arc.

c vidal (8 hours, 59 minutes ago)

 Well done to the rescuers. It is disgusting hearing about such events. There are no words to describe those who mistreat dogs, cats etc. Also it is worrying and dangerous to have them running on the streets since I consider these monsters (if i call them animals I will be offending the animal kingdom including humans) as dangerous even to fellow humans. Where are the police? It is shameful to see that on a small island like Malta everything is out of control. Then where are the politicians? or they appear only before an election? what consultations they need to do? doing consultations for what? to look busy as if like they are doing something? maybe to do a show off in front of the media and to show the people how busy we are? and then nothing is done after that….till another consultation maybe some years after (when everyone forget about the previous one). microchipping does not apply for those that brred animals and keep them for fighting. The laws have to be amended including hefty fines and jail sentences. Currently the law is a whole farce…a joke….an offense to civilised society.

 M. Vella (9 hours, 8 minutes ago)

 @ Stefania Soler – please do not compare these beings to animals, you are insulting the animals. @ Government – when are you going to start taking some concrete action against these perpetrators if they are caught. A STRONG message needs to be sent out to all those inflicting cruelty to animals. Just because animals don’t vote doesn’t mean that they should be ignored. Government PLEASE WAKE UP AND DO SOMETHING

 philip pace (9 hours, 10 minutes ago)

From the article/report:- The government has said it hoped that, within the next few years, microchipping would be made obligatory. However this would have to be done following consultation with all stakeholders including animal NGOs and pet owners. What is our wafer thin majority of government doing about this? Just dedicating itself to grand designs by spending carelessly to useless projects. To the despicable person who did this. I wish you all the ‘best’ things in life to you and your family. How about changing roles for one day? You must be a miserable so so to do this.

 Justin Case (9 hours, 11 minutes ago)

 Following the rescue, should the police not await for the ‘owners’ to turn up and have them arrested. Then they shoudl be names and shamed and heavily fined as an example to others.

L Aquilina (9 hours, 11 minutes ago)

Heartfelt gratitude to all does who report, save and protect these defenceless creatures. My strong support goes to any state initiative that proposes to care for these animals. Please let us know how and where we can contribute.

G Falzon (9 hours, 17 minutes ago)

I am of the opinion that in these circumstances the police or other enforcement agencies should have kept the necessary watch for a few hours to capture the culprits. Besides, I also think that broadcasting the names (identities) of these courageous and commendable public service personnel does not do anyone any good. Media should refrain from publishing personal details of Government staff doing such enforcement duties!

Sheila Caruana (9 hours, 28 minutes ago)

Congratulations to the Animal Welfare Dept and to Noah’s Ark. This is a prime example of our officers’ commitment to the welfare of all animals in Malta. Well done Mr Marston.

Matthew Dougall (9 hours, 31 minutes ago)

you don’t have to be an animal lover to report such cruelty

Malvin Debono (9 hours, 33 minutes ago)

I’m afraid the sort of language I would use to describe the people who did this is unsuitable for this website! Suffice to say that in my opinion no amount of fines is good enough as punishment in these cases.

Matthew Dougall (9 hours, 34 minutes ago)

you don’t have to be an animal lover to report such cruelty

stefania soler (9 hours, 42 minutes ago)

The more of this i see, the more appalled and disgusted i feel. I just wonder if something is being seriously done to track down these ANIMALS. Yes, because THEY are animals, the ones ill treating these poor defenceless dogs, not the ones in the cages being rescued. When are severe sentences going to take place and these perpetrators taken to justice in a proper way? These situations are occurring on a weekly basis, the authorities must put their foot down, it’s the only way to help these poor dogs and cats and to help the Animal Welfare Dept and animal NGOs. Well done to Mr Marston and Fabio.

David A. Agius (9 hours, 54 minutes ago)

Wasn’t this site cleared from Squatters a few months ago? DO we need to do a follow up visit?


July 14, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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