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Planned zoo in Rabat has no permits from veterinary department

The Veterinary Regulation Department has said it has not received any applications for a zoo in the locality of Rabat

jurgen
Jurgen Balzan
3 November 2016, 10:18am
Several structures of the zoo are already in place
Several structures of the zoo are already in place
Large cages and other structures intended to house animals, including big cats, are being erected in Rabat, but the Veterinary Regulation Department has said it has not received any applications for a zoo in the locality.

The site already houses a number of horses, but in reply to Maltatoday’s questions, the Veterinary Regulation Department said that no permit for a zoo has been issued and no application has been filed for the site measuring some 3,700 square metres.

MaltaToday is informed that the zoo is being developed without the necessary permits and a search on the Planning Authority’s webpage shows that no planning permit has been issued.

Excavation works are still ongoing on the large tract of land in Triq il-Buskett, Rabat, but the Planning Authority did not answer questions on the legality of the works by the time of going to print.

According to the information available online, in May 2016 the Planning Authority sanctioned repairs to existing random dry-stone rubble walls on the site.

However, the works which are still ongoing include the excavation of garage-like rooms in the rock face, stables, an eight-metre high cage and a parameter wall which at some points is six metres high.

An excavator was on site as works on the planned zoo are at an advanced stage
An excavator was on site as works on the planned zoo are at an advanced stage
Moreover, concrete has been laid on various parts of the land and a number of electricity poles have also been erected while an electric gate has been installed at the entrance.

This comes a few days after the Environment and Resources Authority recommended a refusal of an irregularly developed zoo in Siggiewi and warned that “the commercial aspect of the project may lend itself to the sprawl of infrastructure in the area.”

The Arka ta’ Noe zoo, which includes a white lion, two Siberian tigers, a black panther, monkeys, zebras, reindeer and emus, was irregularly developed over a 10,565 square metre site – the area of two football grounds – in a site known as Ta’ Bur ix-Xewk in Siggiewi, which is surrounded by an Area of High Landscape Value and near to a proposed Area of Ecological Importance between Wied il-Kbir and Wied Xkora.

The Veterinary Regulation Department told MaltaToday that currently there are five licensed zoos in Malta and there are no pending applications for other zoos.

jurgen
Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...