As so many people predicted, grandiose plans for two publicly-funded ‘mega kennels’ to cope with enormous numbers of abandoned animals in the Algarve that by law cannot now be ‘put to sleep’ (click here) were a load of hot air.
Público has revealed the ideas were “put into a drawer” three years ago after a study by AMAL, the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve showed construction costs in the region of two million euros.
AMAL’s vice-president Osvaldo Gonçalves told the paper: “I made available a 12-hectare plot of land to serve the whole of the Sotovento (eastern) region”.
In principle, all the Algarve councils backed the idea (click here). “Difficulties came” says Público “when the running costs became clear.
According to the study’s projections, the Algarve would have to invest four million euros over a 10-year period to comply with the new legislation” that came in in 2018 prohibiting the culling of shelter animals (click here).
At the time AMAL stressed that one of its priorities in how to cope with the demands of the new law would have to be “articulation with the associated movement for the defence of animals in the region”.
This is a very important pledge to bear in mind considering in Loulé right now the council is trying to demolish a kennels, built by British resident of many years Sid Richardson, on the basis that the facility doesn’t have a licence (click here) .
But first back to Osvaldo Gonçalves, who told Público this week that the creation of a network of intermunicipal kennels: “must come back into discussion” within AMAL.
Councils are each spending around 450,000 euros a year on running kennels, he explained, while costs represent a further 150,000 euros on top of that figure. Income from licenses (ie income from people like Sid Richardson, whose kennels are taking in and homing dozens of abandoned cats and dogs) compensates only to the tune of 160,000 euros.
In other words, the clarity is in the maths. Councils NEED the help of private shelters: it makes total economic sense.
Said Gonçalves this week, as far as he is concerned, he would GIVE Sid Richardson land in Alcoutim if the facilities the Briton built at a cost of over 1.2 million euros are bulldozed.
The inference remains however: there is no need for bulldozers.
As we write this text, Sid Richardson and his lawyer are talking to Loulé mayor Vítor Aleixo – at Mr Aleixo’s invitation – in the hope that some kind of compromise can be reached.
Meantime, the need for much more effective council facilities for an increasing number of stray animals continues shut away from any effective kind of action ‘in a drawer’.