My name is Jutta Spang-Schleicher and in every day life I am a headmistress of an elementary school named St. George’s School.
In October 2005, I came to Malta as a tourist and visited Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary at the open day. I flew back to Germany determined to get some help and assistance for the abandoned dogs in Malta. Half a year later, I had found a German organization that was willing to help, and today I am back in Malta as the representative of this organization called International Animal Protection Association without Borders (International Tierschutzverein Grenzenlos, e.V.), which is situated in the North of Germany. Our Association is cooperating with local partners in the South and East of Europe in order to fight cruelty against animals and the stray dog problem.
In April, I took two dogs from Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary back to Germany, one of them being the National Maltese dog, a Tal-Fenek hound. This dog was found starved and distressed by Noah’s Ark who nursed her back to health. The other was a small terrier type dog. I am happy to report that both have now found very good homes in Germany. Unfortunately, the high transportation costs imposed by Air Malta result in my only being able to take one dog back on this visit. On the one hand, animal protection mustn’t stop at the borders, but Air Malta is still charging a lot of money to transport dogs, whereas the transport of sports equipment being brought to Malta by tourists is free!
My appeal to the press and the TV is to discuss this problem in the media!
On the other hand, the stray problem cannot only be solved by taking dogs to Germany. People in Malta as well as everywhere in the world must realize that animals must not be mistreated or abandoned. Private dog owners should get their dogs neutered too, in order to prevent so many new, unwanted, puppies being born and causing an increase in the stray problems every year.
Today, I have the honour to present a cheque from our association. We’re donating 15,000 Euros for the neutering programme that will start on June 1st 2006, and 2,000 Euros for Noah’s Ark Sanctuary to enable the sanctuary dogs to be neutered and to provide for medicine and vaccinations.
Thanks to the German association ETN, European Animal and Environmental Protection Association, which donated 5,000 Euros for our campaign, this will cover the cost of having up to 300 dogs neutered. The President of Noah’s Ark, Fabio Ciappara, will oversee the campaign and distribute the vouchers.
I’m honoured that Minister Pullicino is also here today. He promised to install a National Welfare Centre for the animals in Malta in a letter to the President of our association, Dr. Helga Körnig.
In a European country, there must be a facility to treat injured animals 24 hours a day and somewhere for these animals to recover until healthy. In Germany Animal Welfare Organizations such as Noah’s Ark, are partly financed by the local councils and their members.
In Malta, a few volunteers do a great job of work, just like Joan Knott, who is with us today.
Thanks to the kindness of the Mayor of Mellieha, Mr. John Buttigieg, new kennels are to be built for Noah’s Ark soon. Thank you very much John!
Last but not least, Mrs. Ingeborg Beggel, the Deputy Head of Mission, of the German embassy in Malta is also present. Many good contacts already exist between Germany and Malta, most of them being on a cultural or economic basis. From today on I hope our common interest will also be in the rights animals have in the European Union.
I found out that there is the cross of St. George on the Maltese flag. If we all stand together against the dragon which to me is a symbol for the evil that people do against animals, we can only win and I sincerely hope that all the European animals will soon be protected by good animal welfare laws.
Let us start today with this cheque as a symbol for our common animal welfare project!
Thanks to everybody!
GRAZZI HAFNA LIL KULHADD!