Gozo SPCA reports shocking destruction of cat colony
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Updated: SPCA photographs added: Some ten days after having their equipment destroyed and their personnel verbally and physically assaulted, Gozo SPCA have said that they have suffered yet another act of vandalism, but this time by the Victoria Council.
A Gozo SPCA spokesperson said that on the morning of the 27th of November, without prior warning, workmen informed the SPCA that they were there to remove trees and bushes directly in front of the Gozo SPCA Centre. Furthermore they instructed the SPCA to remove the shelters where an established cat colony, which is looked after by the SPCA, was located. Betty Berry (the Centre Manager who was on holiday in the UK), frantically phoned officials in the Ministry and the Victoria Council to ask that the work be suspended until she and the Mayor could discuss the arrangements for the cat colony. Eventually Mrs Berry and the Strays officer were assured by the workmen and a Councillor that this would be the case and that work would be suspended pro-tem. On the strength of these assurances, the SPCA called off a proposed vigil to ensure that nothing took place. The workmen did however add that if they were ordered to carry out the work, then they would not be in a position to refuse.The spokesperson went on to say that to their horror and dismay, when the SPCA volunteers arrived at the Centre later on in the afternoon, they found that the work had taken place and that the cat shelters had been unceremoniously dumped in front of the SPCA Centre. When an official of the SPCA queried with the self same Councillor why he had gone back on his word without notification, he was told by the Councillor that the cats had no rights to be there.
The spokesperson said that the cats had been living there for the last twenty odd years, certainly many years before the Victoria Council ever existed. It is common local knowledge that the colony exists and it is mentioned in almost every issue of the Gozo SPCA newsletter, which is distributed to the Ministry and the Council, free of charge. Certainly any official inspecting the site prior to sanctioning the works, could not have mistaken it for anything other than a cared for cat colony. The Society is incredulous that such callous behaviour by an official body towards the ecology and the existing environment could take place in this day and age.The spokesperson said that such behaviour ranked along side the cruel dumping of unwanted animals in skips that the SPCA has to battle against every day of the year. The notion that animals do not have any rights, or that the existing ecology should be simply ignored in the name of progress, seems to persist at the highest of levels. The Gozo SPCA despairs that this brutal message from an official body will undo the many years of hard work, during which the SPCA have been trying to teach the contrary.