Dog in cage

Animal Rights’ Commissioner Alison Bezzina has called for dog and cat breeders to be regulated, and said they should be taxed on the sale of their animals.

The proposals are two of five proposed by the Commissioner to address the dire situation facing many of Malta’s animal shelters.

Making a statement on social media as a follow up to a controversial opinion piece penned on Times of Malta this weekend, Ms Bezzina clarified a warning that if steps are not taken to address the problem of stray animals, then kill shelters for stray animals would need to be implemented in Malta.

In the opinion piece, which laid out the proposals in more detail, she stated that purchasing a dog or a cat for hundreds or even thousands of euros should be considered a luxury, and should be taxed as such.

This move would serve to “weigh down” those who make “thousands of euros every year from selling live, sentient beings to anyone who will pay for them”, thus contributing to a worsening situation for stray animals in shelters, Ms Bezzina suggested.

Aside from the other considerations, she speculated that the creation of a paper trail would curb a lot of abuse in the sector, and said: “it’s only fair that a highly profitable activity contributes to the country’s coffers”.

Tax received from this activity, she suggested, should then be used to support animal shelters facing an “overwhelming flood” of abandoned and stray animals.

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