[WATCH] Experts reviewing new zoo regulations before Bill is presented to Cabinet, minister says

Animal Rights Minister Anton Refalo says Malta has six zoos and new legislation should not take a one size fits all approach 

Animal Rights Minister Anton Refalo has said that experts are reviewing suggestions submitted in the public consultation on zoo regulations but no timeline has been set yet for the finalisation of a Bill. 

The public consultation was concluded last December after it was launched in November. But the ministry has since remained silent on the controversial White Paper, which had caused an uproar among zoo owners. 

According to the public consultation website, the White Paper received 1,407 responses - 1,388 coming from individuals and 19 from organisations.

The feedback summary stated the majority of feedback came from individuals who were against zoos.  

Questions sent by MaltaToday last Thursday on when the ministry plans to publish the Bill on the Keeping of Wild Animals in Zoos have since remained unanswered. 

“Malta has six zoos, and so the legislation cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach,” he said. 

Refalo said the necessary changes had been carried out, and experts within the ministry are reviewing the amendments to ensure they truly “make sense” before being presented to Cabinet. 

The minister said that no timeline could be given. “It’s not a question of rushing, we have to ensure that legislation makes sense and respects all parties.” 

The minister also refused to divulge details on whether controversial suggestions like the neutering of wild animals in zoos would be included in the new legislation.

READ MORE: Animal Rights Ministry silent on new zoo regulations