Tenders for pet cemetery to be issued in coming weeks – Galdes

Environment minister Leo Brincat says the government plans to create a legislative framework to regulate sound pollution

Minister Leo Brincat and Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes
Minister Leo Brincat and Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes

A call for tenders for the anticipated pet cemetery is to be issued in the coming days, parliamentary secretary for animal rights Roderick Galdes said.

Speaking at the third session of the public consultations under the ‘Gvern li Jisma’ banner, Galdes explained that plans for the cemetery were ongoing and that the government was very open to private investment on public property.

“Entities have expressed concerns on issues like whether the buried bodies could somehow contaminate the water table and these concerns will be further researched,” Galdes said, adding that the cemetery could also include a cremation plant for animal remains.

Brincat also discussed the new operator at the San Frangisk Animal Clinic, and said that the government had decided to convert the after-care clinic into a proper hospital.

“The new operator, Animl Pro Health Ltd, will aim to instil long-term changes to make the clinic open on a 24 hour basis and to provide a higher standard of services,” Galdes said, adding that the process, although necessary would take quite some time to be complete.

“The government will not put the long-term success of the development at peril just to finish the project fast,” he said.

Galdes added that the hospital would also give discounts to NGO’s for neutering operations and that it would also provide services for farm animals, as well as a 24-hour pharmacy for medications used specifically for animals,” he said.

Galdes added that the care of farm animals, was also essential because pathogens present in animals could ultimately find their way into the food chain, thus putting human health at risk.

Making reference to the recent WHO report linking carcinogens to processed red meats, Galdes said that Maltese people had an advantage over the rest of Europe as fresh meats were much more easily available.

“To that end and to further promote and improve the standards and quality of local produce, the government has embarked on projects to improve the farmer’s market (pitkalija), the abattoir (biccerija) as well as the fisheries market (pixkerija),” he said adding that the government was also increasing traceability and securing that products were clear in showing their origins.

Galdes added that the government was investing some €1.6 million to the farmer’s market, to modernize both the physical building and to introduce computerized systems for added traceability to products.   

Environment minister Leo Brincat said that plans to create a legislative framework for sound pollution were currently underway and that the government had decided to dedicate €80,000 to the procedures and developments of the legislation.

“Sound pollution affects both the elderly and infirm, as well as young people who are students among others,” he said, adding that the new framework would make it clearer who people could address themselves to in issues of the sort.

Brincat also said that the government looked forward to the development of the new Environment and resources agency, and said that they hoped the CEO and director of the authority would be chosen and announced in the coming weeks.

“Preparations have long been underway to ensure that the authority is fully functional and can achieve the requirements and proposals made, as soon as the legislative process is finished.”

He also added that the government had shown its commitment to increasing the number and quality of parks around the island, and listen plans to have a new national park in the south of Malta, and to convert the marshlands and areas surrounding the Salini area into the biggest bird sanctuary on the island. He further added that commercial banks had already offered financial for the new park at Zabbar, as well as soft landscaping in the area.

On renewable energies, Brincat said that the government was looking into the development of solar farms in various locations to make this renewable energy available to even for those who were unable to install their own solar panels either because they lived in housing estates or in apartments.

He added that the university of Malta had also launched a project to check the viability of solar gardens, and that if results were successful, the initiative would have promising potential for the country.

Brincat added that the government was looking forward to the creation of a directorate for sustainable environment, and he added that in relation to this issue, the situation of traffic congestion in Malta was unsustainable from an environmental and health perspective.

Brincat also added that Wasteserve wpu;d ;aunch 3 projects adding up to some  €60 million including the Ghallies project, the Marsa autoclave as well as the pilot projects to introduce a third garbage bag for biodegradable waste. He further added that the government would launch studies into food waste at supermarkets and to respond according to the needs of the country without being overly effected by initiatives in other countries.