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Malta – Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues

Malta is a small island country in the Mediterranean Sea. With a rich history and vibrant culture, it is also home to a variety of animal species, both domestic and wild. In this article, we will explore the prevailing attitudes towards animals and pets in Malta, the laws surrounding pet ownership, major animal charities in the country, common pet supply stores, and any cultural taboos or sensitivities associated with different types of animals.

Attitude towards animals and pets

Malta is known for its love of animals and pets, with many households owning at least one. The Maltese are particularly fond of dogs, and it is not uncommon to see people walking their furry companions around the towns and villages. Cats are also a popular choice for pets, with many households having outdoor cats that roam freely.

Laws regarding pet ownership

The Maltese government has implemented various laws to ensure the welfare and protection of animals. The Animal Welfare Act of 2001 outlines the duties of pet owners, animal welfare organisations, and the government with regard to animal welfare. It sets out the minimum standards of care for animals, including food, water, shelter, and veterinary care.

Pet owners in Malta are required by law to microchip and register their dogs with the local council, and to obtain a license for their dog every year. Dogs must also wear a collar with their owner’s contact details. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines.

Major animal charities

There are several animal charities in Malta that work tirelessly to ensure the welfare of animals in the country. The Island Sanctuary is one of the most well-known animal charities in Malta, and it provides shelter and care for abandoned and abused animals. The association also runs a successful adoption programme, rehoming animals with loving families across the island.

Another notable animal charity is the Malta Animal Welfare Society (MAWS), which works to promote animal welfare and protect animals from abuse and neglect. The organisation also provides shelter and care for animals in need, as well as education programmes to raise awareness of animal welfare issues.

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Pet supply stores

There are numerous pet supply stores in Malta, catering to the needs of pet owners across the island. Some of the most popular stores include:

  • Pet Kingdom: a large pet store with a wide range of products for cats, dogs, birds, and other small animals.
  • Pawsome: a store specialising in high-quality food and treats for dogs and cats, as well as accessories and toys.
  • ZooLand: a store offering a range of pet supplies, including food, toys, and bedding, as well as a grooming salon.

In addition to these physical stores, there are also several online pet supply stores that deliver products to pet owners across the island, such as Petworld and Pawlu.

Cultural taboos or sensitivities

The Maltese have a strong cultural attachment to animals, and as such, there are no particular taboos or sensitivities associated with different types of animals. However, there is a tradition of hunting in Malta, particularly of migratory birds such as quail and turtle dove. This has been a controversial issue in recent years, with some conservationists arguing that the hunting practices are unethical and unsustainable.

In conclusion, Malta is a country with a strong love for animals and pets. The laws surrounding pet ownership ensure that animals are protected and well-cared for, while animal charities work tirelessly to promote animal welfare and provide shelter and care for animals in need. With a variety of pet supply stores and no cultural taboos or sensitivities associated with different types of animals, Malta is a great place for pet owners and animal lovers alike.