Editor’s note: This letter was sent by the Loulé municipality in English and here we publish it in full.
As a contribute to pacify public opinion regarding some accusations from locals and reports in the media regarding the present working conditions of the Loulé’s Municipal Kennel, the Loulé Câmara urges to clarify the following points:
1. Since the Mayor has come into office, he has shown great concern for the wellbeing of all animals, having decided on a series of measures in favour of the animal cause. It was with this objective in mind that in September 2014 we began contacting the representatives of animal protection associations and individuals linked to the animal cause;
2. Hence, the Mayor has committed to improving the conditions in the Municipal Kennel and maintaining a close relationship and collaboration with the associations, when submitting work plans for it;
3. Within this line of policy, orders were given not to permit the slaughter of the animals, particularly in the Municipal Kennel, except however situations in which public health or extreme suffering were involved.
4. On October 4, 2014, as part of the World Animal Day celebrations, collaboration agreements were formalised with the Coração100Dono Association, the ADACNR and the AID – Animal Protection Association, in order to allow the involvement of associations in promoting initiatives towards the protection of abandoned animals and the improvement of their living conditions;
5. With this initiative, associations dedicated to this cause came to be heard, to be a partner in the decisions that matter to heighten the level of awareness about animals rights;
6. The Municipality also signed a protocol with the Animais Abandonados de Loulé Association and a grant was allowed to cover part of the costs of maintenance and good treatment of animals, particularly in the S. Francisco de Assis Kennel;
7. In the meantime, some improvements were carried out in Loulé’s Municipal Kennel, in order to give more dignity and better conditions to all animals housed there;
8. We began to collect information for the preparation of a “Regulation on Life and Animal Protection of the Municipality of Loulé”. We intend to submit it for approval in the Municipal Assembly of Loulé during the month of April;
9. Nevertheless, we must state that the many photos that have been circulating on social networks, in which the animals are visibly in degrading conditions in the Kennel, are not up-to-date and the municipality cannot defend or understand its use and distribution;
10. Furthermore, we want to refer that it is well known that there is currently an ongoing disciplinary procedure against the Municipal Vet and, thus, until it is complete, we cannot give any information about it or its conclusion;
11. It was recently submitted to the Veterinary Directorate General an application for the authorisation of sterilisation campaigns together with the legally constituted associations that may want to collaborate;
12. Finally we would like to refer that a survey was made to (assess) the equipment and material necessary to improve the functioning of the Municipal Kennel and, sequentially, the technicians of the City Hall are developing a project in order to expand and improve the care and accommodation of animals there.
For all these reasons, the City Hall of Loulé demarcates up from any practice that undermines the wellness and rights of the animals and is making all efforts to develop an animal protection policy, improving their living conditions, particularly for dogs and cats.