Through the Animal Welfare Fund Grant Scheme, the Ministry for Agriculture, Fishing and Animal Rights has provided a total of €76,893 to be distributed proportionately to ten voluntary animal welfare organisations in order to continue improving the conditions and the wellbeing of animals in Malta.
The organisations that are set to benefit from this fund include animal sanctuaries, groups that promote knowledge on the responsibility of raising animals and also other groups that provide support to animals that are in need.
A statement on the government’s website confirmed that this is another sign of the recognition towards “the contribution that they are providing in this sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
One of the organisations that is set to benefit from the funds is the CSAF animal sanctuary (Carers for Stray and Abandoned Felines) in Cospicua, which was visited by the wife of the Prime Minister Dr Lydia Abela, along with the Minister for Agriculture, Fishing and Animal Rights Anton Refalo and the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Work Clifton Grima.
During the visit, Minister Refalo explained how the aim of the Animal Welfare Fund Grant Support Scheme is to help in the funding of projects that continue to assure the rights of animals in Malta, along with raising more awareness with regards to the responsibilities of those that are raising animals, and to assist in the progress of good practice when it comes to animal awareness.
Along with this, the funds will also be used to increase the quality of medical treatment and rehabilitation services for animals within the community.
The Minister added that the scheme will be providing a platform through which proper cooperation between the organisations and the Animal Welfare Promotion & Services Directorate (AWPSD) is developed with the aid of the Ministry for Agriculture, Fishing and Animal Rights.
Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima said that during the year, these voluntary organisations also benefitted from an investment of €3 million, being the largest ever investment in the voluntary sector.
He said that “this scheme continues to show how much the government is committed to providing all of the help possible to the voluntary organisation in order to assure the existence of such organisations”.
Adding to this, he also stated that the government’s aim is to help these organisations in order for them to “continue working and doing their impeccable work”.
Dr Lydia Abela reaffirmed the ideas put forward by the minister and the parliamentary secretary, stating that “Animals do not have a mouth to talk about the things that bother them and the things they wish to change, and so this work needs to be done by us.”
She also added that the government will do all that it can in order to help improve the conditions that animals are kept in, along with the laws that govern these conditions and the laws being enforced against animal cruelty.
She concluded by saying that the funds being provided will continue being provided each month, yet she assured the organisations that these funds “towards animal rights in our country will continue to increase”.