Target: Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta
Goal: Praise government’s efforts to improve animal welfare laws and enforcement
The first-ever Animal Rights Commissioner has been appointed by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights in the island country of Malta. The new commissioner, Emanuel Buhagiar, is a former police officer and member of the Animal Welfare Directorate, an entity committed to protecting animal rights in Malta. He has been instrumental in capturing and prosecuting over 70 animal rights offenders in recent years, including a man who crucified dogs.
The new commissioner will oversee Malta’s Animal Rights Council and other related organizations, as well as work to enforce the newly revised Animal Welfare Act. In addition, he will implement and promote campaigns to educate the populace on animal rights and make recommendations to lawmakers on how protection legislation can be improved. Finally, Buhagiar will work to improve cooperation between government divisions, charities, and law enforcement officials focused on animal welfare.
Recently, Malta has been making great strides toward improving the welfare of animals. Using animals for entertainment in circuses and street shows has been banned, and the maximum punishments for animal cruelty have been increased. Now, first-time offenders can face up to three years in prison as opposed to the previous one-year sentence, and possible fines have drastically increased.
Just last year, the Maltese public was in an uproar about a lack of animal protection laws. The government responded quickly by implementing animal welfare staff as well as hiring new staff to enforce the changes. Sign the petition below to commend the drastic improvements made by Malta, which include the appointment of the first Animal Rights Commissioner.
Dear Prime Minister Joseph Muscat,
For the first time in Maltese history, an Animal Rights Commissioner has been appointed. Commissioner Emanuel Buhagiar will coordinate law enforcement, charities, and lawmakers in their efforts to improve the welfare of all living creatures in the country, as well as make recommendations to the government to improve legislation. Finally, he will be educating the populace on how to spot and report offenses against animals.
In the past year, Malta has banned animal performances in circuses and street acts, as well as raised the maximum offenses for those who break animal protection laws. Appointing an Animal Rights Commissioner will ensure that these new laws are enforced, and that other acts of cruelty against animals are made illegal. We, the undersigned, commend the Maltese government for its work to improve animal welfare.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Koshi Koshi via Creative Commons