Malta Animal Welfare Act 2002 – an island that is middle-ranking on animal welfare

Below, I set out the Animal Welfare Act 2002 that is in force in Malta. Malta is a member state of the European Union (year of entry: 2004).

Malta would have been obliged to ensure that certain legislation was in force as a condition of membership one type of which would have been animal welfare legislation. This is it. I comment on this on the main page on Laws on domestic cat breeds wild cat species and animal rights law enforcement. Malta is middle-ranking in animal welfare compared to other European countries. See base of page for a brief appraisal of Malta’s attempt at being good on animal welfare.

Note: legislation is in the public domain so there is no breach of copyright in reproducing the law verbatim. This is the entire Act.

Stray cats in Malta
Stray cats in Malta. Image in public domain.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

RELATED: The Rescue and Feral Cats of Martha Kane

I have highlighted some key provisions that affect the domestic cat, my particular area of interest.




To establish and consolidate the protection of animals kept for work, sport, companionship and food.
8th February, 2002

ACT No. XXV of 2001.


1. The short title of this Act is the Animal Welfare Act.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires “animal” means all living members of the animal kingdom, other than human beings, and includes free-living larval and, or, reproducing larval forms, but does not include foetal or embryonic forms;

“animal experiment” means any use of any animal for experimental or other scientific purposes which may cause it pain, suffering distress or lasting harm, including any course of action intended, or liable, to result in the birth of an animal in any such condition. An animal experiment starts when an animal is first prepared for use and ends when no further observations are to be made for that experiment. The elimination of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm by the successful use of anaesthesia or analgesia or other methods does not place the use of an animal outside the scope of this definition;

“animal welfare officer” means an official appointed under article 44 and also includes every member of the police or a local warden;

“bred animals” means animals specifically bred for the use in experiments in facilities approved by, or registered with, the Council;

“competent person” means those individuals designated as such by the Minister for any purposes of this Act;

“Council” means the Council for Animal Welfare established by article 4;

“Department” means the Department for Veterinary Services;

“Director” means the Director of Veterinary Services and includes, to the extent of the authority given, any officer authorised by him, in writing, to act in that behalf for any of the purposes of this Act;

“ill treatment”, in relation to an animal, means causing the animal to suffer, by any act or omission, pain or distress which in its kind or degree, or in its object, or in circumstances in which it is inflicted, is excessive or unnecessary;

”local warden” means any warden appointed under the Private Cap. 389.
Guards and Local Wardens Act;

“marking” in relation to an animal means:

(a) marking that animal by any method for the purpose of distinguishing that animal or animals of that type from others; and

(b) includes affixing or applying to, or implanting in, that animal for the purpose of distinguishing that animal or animals of that type from others, any band, ring, clip, tag, electronic identification device, or paint or any other thing;

“Minister” means Minister responsible for Veterinary Services;

“prescribed” means prescribed by rules or regulations made by the Minister under this Act;

“veterinary surgeon” means a person licensed by the President of

Malta to practice as a veterinary surgeon in Malta and registered in the Veterinary Surgeons Register kept by the Veterinary Surgeons Council.

Part I
Animal Welfare Declaration of principles.

3. (1) The State shall endeavour, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, to protect the life of animals and to prevent and punish acts of ill-treatment in their regard. In particular the state shall protect such animals from undue labour and work practices which are beyond and not consonant with their nature.

(2) The State recognises that it has the duty to promote the welfare of animals, and that the welfare of animals is to be protected through the intervention of the State through its legislative, judicial and administrative organs.

(3) The State recognises that it is its duty to collaborate with voluntary organisations in the field of animal welfare, and that it is its duty to promote the culture of respect towards animals.

Part II
Establishment of a Council for Animal Welfare

Council for Animal Welfare.

4. (1) There shall be a Council for Animal Welfare which shall consist of –

(a) the Director for Veterinary Services, who shall be the Chairman;

(b) a representative from the Ministry responsible for veterinary services;

(c) one veterinary surgeon, employed in the public service, with experience in animal health medicine;

(d) one veterinary surgeon, employed in the public service, with experience in farm animals’ matters;

(e) two persons to represent the interest of Animal Welfare groups; and

(f) two persons to represent the interests of breeders and animal sports groups.

(2) The members referred to in subarticle (1)(c) and (d) shall be
appointed by the Minister for such terms as the Minister shall decide from time to time.

(3) The members referred to in subarticle (1)(e) and (f) shall be appointed by the Minister upon the recommendation of the associations or groups which, in the opinion of the Minister, are representative of the relevant associations or groups.

(4) If the Chairman is absent from any meeting of the Council the next most senior official member present shall preside.

(5) The Council shall have the power to appoint subcommittees, and to allow at its meetings the presence of persons who are not members of the Council.

(6) The Minister shall designate an officer of the Department to act as Secretary to the Council.

(7) The Council, with the concurrence of the Minister, may appoint sub-committees to deal with specific matters such as farm animal housing systems, biotechnology and animal experiments.

5. The Council shall

(a) have the duty to advise the Minister on any matter

(i) related to the making of regulations under any of the provisions of this Act; and

(ii) affecting the animal and veterinary public health in Malta, as may be required by the Minister;

(b) have the power to recommend the adoption or the implementation of any measures, enquiries or scientific investigations as, in its opinion, may be conducive to, and in the interests of, the well-being of animals;

(c) advise the Minister on all matters related to biotechnology in animals and animal experiments and with respect to the issue of licences under Part XI of this Act;

(d) advise the Minister on all matters related to the keeping of farm animal housing systems and on the issue or otherwise of permits under Part VII of this Act; and

(e) the Minister, in issuing regulations, orders or rules under this Act, shall consult the Council. Power to make regulations.

6. The Minister may make, vary or revoke regulations for the proper conduct of the business of the Council. Subject to the provisions of such regulations and of this Act, the Council may regulate its own procedures.

Part III
Keeping of Animals

Maltese purebred dogs hanging from metal beamLaw changes. Date of post: 20-9-10.
7. (1) Animals shall not

(a) be kept;

(b) be kept for the purpose of producing animal products; or

(c) be kept tethered, in buildings, pens, cages or the like, unless they belong in each case to the species or categories of animals specified in regulations prescribed.

(2) The Minister may make regulations –

(a) providing for the conditions under which animals shall, in each case, be kept;

(b) providing for the manner in which species or categories of animals as may be prescribed are to be kept, including –

(i) the manner in which animals shall be tied or tethered;

(ii) the manner in which animals shall be segregated according to age, sex, or species;

(iii) the space which animals shall be allowed;

(iv) for matters relative to the hygiene of the animal, its housing and other measures to ensure the health of the animal;

(c) providing for the listing of the categories and the species of animals for which the regulations are applicable; and

(d) for any other matter that may or is to be prescribed.

Part IV
Caring of Animals

8. (1) The Minister may make regulations providing for the manner in which such species of animals as may be prescribed shall be cared for, fed, watered, treated and trained, and the qualifications of persons who shall be responsible therefor.

(2) Animals shall not be caused any unnecessary pain, suffering or distress and no animal shall be abandoned.

(3) Any person who keeps any animal or who agrees to look after an animal shall be responsible for its health and welfare.

Part V
Surgical Operations on Animals

9. (1) Surgical operations for the purpose of modifying the appearance of an animal by which any part of the animal’s body is removed or damaged, other than for a curative purpose, shall be illegal. Surgical operations shall be carried out by a veterinary surgeon or pursuant to a Minister’s order issued in consultation with the Veterinary Surgeons Council.

(2) The Minister may make regulations –

(a) establishing the manner and cases in which surgical operations may be performed; and

(b) regulating embryo transplantation in animal species or categories of species as may be therein indicated.

10. Animals which have undergone a surgical operation which is prohibited under the provisions of article 9 shall not be –

(a) entered for or admitted to shows or inspections or competitions; and

(b) kept in stock, to be sold, offered for sale sold or bought.

Part VI
Killing of Animals

11. The Minister may make regulations

(a) specifying the cases in which it shall be permissible to kill animals, and the manner in which such killing may take place;

(b) providing for the manner in which, and the person by whom an animal may be killed; and

(c) prescribing the facilities and equipment of slaughterhouses.

12. The Minister may make rules to regulate stunning methods and derogations therefrom: provided that such methods shall bring animals into a state of unconsciousness which lasts until they are slaughtered.

13. (1) Except in cases of an emergency which visibly indicate extreme pain conducive to death, only a veterinary surgeon or another competent person shall be permitted to kill an animal of a domesticated breed or any wild animal which has been domesticated, except animals bred for the production of food.

(2) In the case where it is necessary to terminate an animal’s life, this shall be done with the minimum of physical and mental suffering as in the circumstances is appropriate.

(3) Except in an emergency, the method chosen shall either –

(a) cause immediate loss of consciousness and death; or

(b) begin with the induction of deep general anaesthesia to be followed by a step which will ultimately cause death.

(4) The person responsible for the killing shall make sure that the animal is dead before the carcass is disposed of.

(5) The following methods of killing shall be prohibited –

(a) drowning and other methods of suffocation which do not produce the effects required by subarticle (3)(b);

(b) the use of any poisonous substance or drug, the dose and application of which cannot be controlled so as to give the effect mentioned in subarticle (3);

(c) electrocution, unless preceded by immediate induction of loss of consciousness.

14. (1) Subject to the provisions of article 13 it shall be lawful to slaughter or kill injured or diseased animals on the spot.

(2) The Minister, after consulting the Council may make rules authorizing the transport of injured or diseased animals for the purposes of slaughter, provided that such transport does not entail further suffering for the animals.

Part VII
Housing of Animals

15. (1) The Minister may, on the advice of the Council, make
regulations –

(a) to provide for conditions in which animals may be housed;

(b) to provide for the categories of persons authorised to keep and house those categories and species of animals; and

(c) to establish procedures in respect of applications for a housing system.

(2) Applications may be approved subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Director may deem fit to impose; the grant or revocation of any permit shall be published in the Gazette.

16. (1) Animal housing systems shall not be manufactured, kept in stock, sold, delivered or in any manner made use of in respect of animals, unless such systems are built and maintained, and conform with such minimum facilities for the welfare of animals as may be prescribed.

(2) Mass-produced animal housing systems shall not be kept in stock to be sold, delivered or used for species or categories of animals except as provided for in the regulations referred to in subarticle (1).

17. (1) The Director, on the advice of the Council, may grant permission for a housing system following an application from the manufacturer, the importer or the retailer.

(2) A report, drawn up by or on behalf of the manufacturer, describing how the system benefits animal welfare, shall be attached to every application for permission for a housing system.

18. (1) Housing systems which have been kept in stock to be sold, delivered or in use prior to the entry into force of any rules referred to in article 17 shall be permitted to continue to be so kept only for such period as may be prescribed.

(2) The rules referred to in article 17 may also provide for transitional periods within which such breeders shall conform therewith.

19. The Director may revoke a permit where

(a) the information submitted at the time of the application was incorrect or misleading in such manner that, had the information been known at the time the permit was granted, the application would have been rejected;

(b) in the opinion of the Council, circumstances exist which are detrimental to the welfare and safety of animals;

(c) the permit has been granted for a housing system for a purpose which is different from that for which that housing system is intended to serve.

Breeding of Animals

20. (1) The Minister may make regulations providing for the breeding of animals, including the method of breeding as well as the species and categories of animals which may be used for breeding purposes.

(2) The Minister may make regulations prescribing that the young of such species or categories of animals, as may be specified in the regulations, shall not be separated from their parent until they have reached such age as may be prescribed.

(3) All persons involved in the breeding of animals shall be responsible for the anatomical, physiological and behavioural characteristics of such animals, which are likely to put at risk the health and welfare of either the offspring or the parents.

21. No animal, as is referred to in article 20(2), shall be sold, kept in stock to be sold, offered for sale, let or delivered for trade, unless in accordance with regulations prescribed under this Act.

Part IX
Transport of Animals

22. The Minister may make regulations concerning the manner in which transport of animals by road, by sea or by air shall be carried out.

23. (1) Species and categories of animals, as may be prescribed, may not be transported, whether locally from one place to another or abroad, unless –

(a) the animals are accompanied by a certificate issued by an official appointed by the Minister stating that he has found the animals fit for transport; and

(b) the animals are provided with or accompanied by the identification marks or documents indicated in the certificate; and

(c) unless under such conditions and restrictions, as the Director may deem fit to impose; and

(d) the transport is in accordance with prescribed regulations.

(2) The provisions of subarticle (1)(a) and (b) shall not apply to transport carried out in the course of or for the benefit of one’s work or enterprise, provided that this is in conformity with the prescribed regulations.

(3) The provisions of subarticle (1) shall not apply to the transport abroad of animals which have not been loaded for transportation purposes, in Malta. Issue of certificate. 24. The official referred to in article 23 shall only issue a certificate after having inspected the animals before loading and shall not issue a certificate –

(a) if the animals are not properly provided with or accompanied by the identification marks or documents referred to in article 23,

(b) if the animals have given birth forty-eight hours prior to departure;

(c) if he is of the opinion that the animals are likely to give birth during carriage;

(d) if he is of the opinion that the animals are ill or injured or unfit for transport, taking into account the nature of the means of transport, the nature, manner or duration of that journey or the circumstances under which transport is to take place; and

(e) if he is of the opinion that the observance of the conditions laid down by or in pursuance of this article cannot be ensured during transport.

25. The Director may revoke a certificate issued in accordance with article 23 if he thinks that circumstances have occurred or have become known under which, had they been known or had they occurred at the time the certificate was issued, the certificate would not have been issued.

26. (1) During the transportation of animals, the transporter shall, at all times, carry all certificates and documents issued in accordance with article 23.

(2) Animals which fall ill or are injured during transport shall receive first-aid treatment as soon as possible; they shall be given appropriate veterinary treatment and, if necessary, undergo emergency slaughter in a way which does not cause them any unnecessary suffering.

Part X
Use of Animals at Competitions

27. Competitions which test the speed or strength of an animal shall not be organised, nor shall animals be entered for such competitions, unless the competitions are held in accordance with regulations made under this article.

28. The Minister may make regulations concerning the keeping of animals for the purposes of recreation, sports, instruction, education, public display, shows, exhibitions, sale at markets and auctions or for any other similar purposes.

29. The Minister may make regulations to regulate the administration or otherwise of substances which may be used on animals participating in competitions.

30. (1) Animals shall not be entered for competitions or take part in competitions if, on inspection, the animal’s body is found to contain one or more of the substances specified in the prescribed regulations, the ingredients whereof or the metabolites of which exceed the maximum quantity established in the said regulations.

(2) The Minister may make regulations to provide for the manner in which inspections referred to in subarticle (1) shall be carried out.

31. Animal fights shall not be organized, and nor shall animals Animal fights.

Part XI
Biotechnology and Animal Experiments

32. (1) Only persons who have been issued a licence by the Biotechnology. Minister, acting on the advice of the Council, may carry out any of the following practices:

(a) the alteration of the genetic material of animals in a manner which ignores the natural barriers of sexual reproduction and of recombination;

(b) the application of biotechnological technology to animals or embryos; and

(c) the administration of such substances, as may be prescribed by regulations made under this article, which alter the functioning of an animal forming part of such species or categories of animals as may be listed in the said regulations.

(2) Animals or animal products which have been subjected to the practices referred to in subarticle (1) shall not be produced, transported, put at another person’s disposal, sold, bought, kept in stock to be sold, disposed of or introduced in Malta, without the written authority of the Minister, or in breach of any condition attached to such authority.

(3) The licence referred to in subarticle (1) may be issued,
suspended, modified or revoked by the Minister.

33. (1) The licence referred to in article 32 shall be issued only when the practices in question will not affect the health or welfare of animals, and such practices shall not be in breach of ethical rules and standards which may be drawn up by the Council.

(2) The licence shall specify the practice for which it is required, and it may include any conditions and restrictions which the Minister may deem necessary.

34. The Minister may make regulations for governing the procedures to be followed for licences, referred to in article 32, to be issued.

35. (1) No animal experiment may be conducted without a licence issued by the Minister acting on the advice of the Council or any of its sub-committees delegated by it.

(2) Licences issued by the Minister shall permit experiments in so far as they are intended to benefit, either directly or indirectly, the health or nutrition of human beings or animals as well as for any other purpose deemed by the Minister to be of sufficient value.

(3) The Minister may make regulations specifying the information required for the issue of a licence for carrying out animal experiments, the fees payable for the filing of applications for such licences as well as the grounds on which applications shall be refused.

(4) Licences may be issued subject to such conditions and restrictions, as the Minister may deem fit to impose.

36. (1) The Minister may make regulations providing for procedures to be followed in the case of experiments involving an animal.

(2) Experiments to which such regulations refer must be specifically declared to the Council and may not be held unless authorised by the Council.

(3) Animal experiments may only be performed by competent authorised persons, or under the direct responsibility of such a person, and only if the experimental or other scientific project concerned is authorised in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

37. (1) A licence may be granted to competent persons subject to such restrictions and conditions as the Minister may deem fit to impose, and may be varied, supplemented or cancelled by the Minister.

(2) A licence shall be revoked if the information submitted in the application is incorrect, inaccurate or misleading such that a different decision would have been taken if the correct information had been available at the time when the application was under consideration.

(3) A licence may be revoked if –

(a) the licence holder does not comply with the conditions of the licence;

(b) no use of the licence is made for a continuous period of one year.

(4) A licence issued under this Part of this Act may be granted to a natural or legal person but it shall not be transferable; if the licence holder is a natural person, the licence shall expire upon the death of the licence holder and shall not be transmitted to the heirs.

38. (1) It shall not be lawful to carry out an animal experiment unless the way in which the experiment is to be conducted has been determined by a person whose qualifications satisfy the requirements laid down in regulations as may be prescribed.

(2) No animal experiment shall be carried out –

(a) for a purpose which may also be achieved by means other than an animal experiment, or by means of an experiment using fewer animals or entailing less distress than the experiment in question; or

(b) for a purpose the importance of which does not justify the distress caused to the animal; or

(c) for such purposes as may be prescribed.

39. (1) It shall be unlawful to conduct an experiment on animals which –

(a) were not bred in a licensed breeding establishment operated by the licence holder; or

(b) were not obtained directly from another licensed establishment in which animals are bred or used either exclusively or mainly for animal experiments or scientific research.

(2) For the purposes of subarticle (1) “breeding establishment” means any establishment where animals are bred with a view to their use in experiments.

40. (1) The holder of a licence under article 37 shall be obliged to ensure that the animal suffers as little distress as possible without defeating the object of the experiment.

(2) The licence holder shall ensure that, if the animal on which the experiment is being carried out could experience distress as a result of acts carried out without anaesthetic, a general or local anaesthetic is administered to the animal to prevent such distress:

Provided that this obligation shall not apply in cases where the anaesthetic would defeat the object of the experiment.

(3) The licence holder shall ensure that any animal which, if allowed to live, would suffer distress for more than a short period as a result of an act performed as part of the experiment, is immediately put to death. Should the object of the experiment thus be defeated, the animal shall be put to death as soon as the experiment permits.

(4) The Minister may make regulations prescribing that such categories of treatment as may be specified in the regulations shall in all cases be carried out under anaesthetic.

41. (1) The licence holder shall keep detailed records concerning the procurement of animals for experiments as well as the experiments conducted, and shall supply this information to the Council.

(2) It shall be the duty of the licence holder to ensure the services of a veterinary surgeon to supervise the welfare of the animals undergoing experiments.

42. (1) The Minister may make regulations to regulate the establishment, administration, upkeep and general maintenance of any installation, building or group of buildings, premises or other facilities intended for the carrying out of animal experiments.

(2) Animals may not be bred or supplied for the purpose of experiments without a licence granted in accordance with regulations made under subarticle (1).

Part XII
Aggressive Animals

43. (1) Save as may otherwise be prescribed, aggressive animals which may present a danger to the safety of man or other animals and which are classified as such by the Minister shall not be bred, imported or sold in Malta.

(2) Save as may otherwise be prescribed, aggressive animals shall not be kept in stock and may be slaughtered if this is deemed to be necessary or expedient by the Director.

Animal Welfare Officers

44. (1) The Minister may make regulations to provide for and to regulate the duties and powers of officials, hereinafter referred to as animal welfare officers, who shall be responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of subarticle (1), every member of the Police Force and any local warden shall, by virtue of his office, be deemed to be an animal welfare officer appointed to act generally for the purposes of this Act.

(3) Animal welfare officers shall act under the direction of the Director in the exercise and performance of their powers, duties, and functions conferred or imposed upon them under this Act.

Part XIV
Offences and Penalties

45. (1) Any person who acts in violation of this Act or in breach of any regulations made thereunder, shall on conviction, be liable to a fine (multa) of not less than one hundred liri but not exceeding twenty thousand liri or to a term of imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Comment: The euro replaced the Maltese lira as the official currency of Malta on 1 January 2008 at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of 0.429300 MTL per 1 euro. So 100 liri = 232 euros = $302 USD = £193 pounds sterling. 20,000 liri = 46,000 euros.

(2) The Minister may make regulations for the enforcement of any restriction or obligation relating to the protection of animals and animal welfare in general, contained in this Act or in any regulation made thereunder, including, inter alia, the forfeiture of animals and the forfeiture of any licence or permit issued under this Act.

46. The Minister may prescribe regulations for the enforcement of any restriction or obligation relating to the protection of animals and animal welfare in general contained in a Convention, Treaty or any other international agreement to which

Malta is a party and may provide in the prescribed regulations that any contravention of any such restriction or obligation shall constitute an offence against this Act and shall liable to such penalty as may be prescribed, being a penalty of a fine (multa) not exceeding twenty-five thousand liri:

Provided that no such regulations may be made unless such international instrument is ratified by Malta according to law.

47. (1) Where the Director has reasonable cause to believe that –

(a) an offence against this Act has been committed by any person; and

(b) having regard to the previous conduct of the person concerned, it would be appropriate to impose a penalty under this article, he may cause a notice in writing in accordance with subarticle (2) in the appropriate form to be served on that person.

(2) A notice under subarticle (1) shall specify –

(a) the date and nature of the offence;

(b) a summary of the facts upon which the allegation that an offence has been committed is based (being a sufficient summary fully and fairly to inform the person of the allegation against him);

(c) any other matters (not being previous convictions) that the Director considers relevant to the imposition of a penalty; and

(d) the amount of the penalty due, and where the penalty due depends on a previous conviction, the date of such conviction, and shall be endorsed on a statement setting out the provisions of this article.

(3) Any person on whom a notice under subarticle (1) is served may, within thirty days after such service by notice in writing in the appropriate form served on the Director, require that proceedings in respect of the alleged offence shall be dealt with by the Court, in which case the following provisions shall apply:

(a) no further proceedings shall be taken under this article by the Director; and

(b) nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the institution of any proceedings in respect of the alleged offence or the conviction of the person for the offence by the Court or the imposition of any penalty or forfeiture under this Act upon such conviction.

(4) Any person on whom a notice under subarticle (1) is served who does not wish that proceedings in respect of the alleged offence shall be dealt with by the Court may by notice in writing served on the Director –

(a) admit the offence, and

(b) pay the amount of the penalty to the Director within thirty days after the notice of the penalty is served or after such subsequent period as the Director may determine.

(5) Where under this article a person admits an offence, the Director shall impose a monetary penalty on that person in respect of the offence amounting to one third of the maximum penalty to which the person would be liable if he were convicted of the offence by the Court.

(6) The penalty imposed under subarticle (5) shall be due as a civil debt enforceable by the competent Court of civil jurisdiction in favour of the Government and the declaration by the person on whom the penalty is imposed that he admits the charge shall constitute an executive title for the purposes of article 253 of the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure in the same manner as if it were a judgement of the competent Court of civil jurisdiction.

(7) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act or of any other enactment, where an offence has been admitted under this article no charge may be laid in respect of the offence against any person by whom it has been admitted.

(8) Where a person on whom a notice under subarticle (1) is served does not, within thirty days after the notice is served on him, admit the offence, the Director shall institute proceedings or cause proceedings to be instituted before the Court in respect of the alleged offence.

Part XV
Exceptions in relation to hunting or killing

48. Subject to the provisions of articles 32 to 42 (both inclusive), the hunting or killing of any animal in a wild state; or any wild animal or pest shall not be governed by the provisions of this Act.

Part XVI

49. (1) Where the Director refuses the issuing of a permit or of a licence required by or under this Act, or modifies such permit or licence or cancels the same, the person applying for the permit or licence or the person holding the permit or the licence, as the case may be, shall have the right, by not later than five working days, to appeal against the Director’s decision by means of a letter addressed to the Minister wherein that person shall state the reasons why the decision of the Director should be cancelled or modified.

(2) The Minister shall, as soon as he receives the appeal in accordance with subarticle (1), send the said appeal to the Director so that, within two days, the Director may make a report in writing to the Minister, wherein he shall indicate the reasons why the appeal should be quashed; however the Director may, where it appears to him that the appeal is justified, change his decision in accordance with the appeal and inform the Minister, within the period given to him for his reply.

(3) When the Minister receives the Director’s reply, or the time given for the reply shall have elapsed without the receipt, by the Minister, of such reply, the Minister shall immediately send the appeal and the Director’s reply, if any, to the Committee established under subarticle (4), so that the said Committee may give its advice, to the Minister on the appeal.

(4) There shall be a Committee which shall be composed of those members of the Council appointed under article 4(1)(c), (d) and (e) and one of the members appointed in terms of article

4(1)(f); the member appointed in terms of paragraph (d) abovementioned shall be the Chairman of the Committee.

(5) The Committee shall, within five days of its receipt of the appeal from the Minister, study the case, hear any person whom it shall deem appropriate, receive all the advice necessary, and send its advice in writing, together with the transcript of any evidence heard and any advice given to the Committee, to the Minister as to the manner in which the appeal is to be dealt with.

(6) The Minister shall decide on the appeal in accordance with the Committee’s advice and shall give an order in writing to the Director according to his decision; a copy of the Minister’s decision shall also be sent to the appellant.


50. Any regulations made under articles 38, 40, 62, 97, 125, 127 and Part VIII of the Code of Police Laws, which articles and Part are repealed by this Act, shall continue to remain in force as if made under this Act and may be amended, substituted or revoked accordingly.

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So how good is animal welfare on the island of Malta?

In other words, how well is the law that I refer to above enforced? The online newspaper Malta Today refers to a San Francisco-based insurance comparison website, The Swiftest, which ranked Malta 29th out of 67 countries in its Animal Rights Index.

The index is based upon nine factors which were evaluated for each country namely recognition of animal sentience, recognition of animal suffering, laws against animal cruelty, national fur-farming ban, support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, meat consumption, percentage of protected areas, pesticide usage of cropland and environmental performance index score.

Malta was ranked about in the middle behind Italy and Portugal but ahead of Tanzania, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Canada. Malta received 416 points out of a possible 600. Only three countries received grade A passes namely Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Austria.

They state that Malta’s Animal Welfare Act 2002 indicated a commitment to protect the life of animals and to punish animal abuse. In other words, they have an animal welfare act which is better than many other countries but is it enforced?

Malta did badly on meat consumption and pesticide use. It has some of the highest pesticide use out of all the countries in the study at 12 kg of pesticide per hectare.

Out of concern for completeness, China came last and was given the lowest score mainly because of its lack of animal protection rights and excessive use of pesticides. Comment: it does not surprise me at all that China came last on animal welfare because they have not had animal welfare laws enacted in that country which baffles me completely. Well, it doesn’t baffle me because it’s what I would expect from China but if they need to integrate into world society, they need to at least have the barest minimum of animal welfare laws which are regarded as obligatory in the West.

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