Police investigating alleged breach of Animal Welfare Act

Animal Welfare officers have told the new administration that on more than one occasion animals were needlessly euthanised.

Officers of the Administrative and Law Enforcement Unit are currently investigating possible breaches of the Animal Welfare Act, after a number of Animal Welfare Department officers allegedly broke the law and killed animals in their care.

MaltaToday is informed that a number of workers employed with the department approached the new administration and claimed that on more than one occasion animals were needlessly euthanised.

"In certain cases injections were allegedly used to kill the animals," one source told MaltaToday.

The alleged acts, which reportedly date to 2010, were carried out on healthy animals.

Sources said the police investigation, ordered by Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Affairs and Animal Rights Roderick Galdes, must establish whether these illegalities occurred.

Sources also said it was alleged that purebred dogs under the care of the Animal Welfare Department were stolen and resold.

Contacted by MaltaToday, former rural affairs minister George Pullicino declined to comment.

"It wouldn't be appropriate to comment since there is an ongoing police investigation on the case," Pullicino said when asked whether he was aware of the allegations.

The police investigation, led by Inspector Ramon Mercieca, has meanwhile found that the majority of the cases were time barred, while the others are still under investigation.

Details emerged from the court case of Eugene Galea, a former Animal Welfare Department officer who was arrested by the police on suspicion of trying to assault Galdes last month.

Galea was one of the individuals who reportedly approached the parliamentary secretary with information on animals which were killed at the Animal Welfare Department.

MaltaToday is informed that Galea was fired twice by the previous administration.