André Silva, the sole MP for Portugal’s animal rights party PAN, has praised the Algarve for its “special sensibility” when it comes to animals.
“(In the Algarve) there is huge and special sensibility towards the animals which we live with on the planet, with numerous animal welfare associations and organisations,” Silva said during a visit to the São Francisco de Assis kennel in Loulé on World Animal Day (October 4).
“Most councils elsewhere do not face up to their responsibilities. For decades, it has been citizens and hundreds of associations who have literally replaced the State, and they still do.”
He highlighted Monchique, which has come up with a plan to protect animals in case of fires, and offer vegetarian meals at schools.
Silva also praised the São Francisco de Assis kennel, which has just signed a protocol with Loulé council which allows it to collect abandoned animals as there is no officially recognised council service.
The kennel cares for 350 cats and dogs and has just received €250,000 worth of much-needed renovations.
As readers may recall, the alternative to the São Francisco kennel is Loulé’s municipal kennel, which has been attacked for many years for providing “hellish” conditions to the animals under its care (click here).
Silva, however, acknowledges that not everything is positive in the Algarve.
The MP is worried about the cases of “negligence” involving horses and donkeys in the region, and accused the regional veterinarian board (DGAV) of being too passive when it comes to animal welfare.
Animal protection law “needs to be extended”
Meantime, André Silva has once again defended the extension of Portugal’s animal protection law to include all animals, not just pets.
“It’s a crime to let a dog starve, but it’s not a crime to let a horse starve. It’s a crime to beat a cat, but it’s not a crime to beat cows,” the MP said.
Photo: MP for PAN, André Silva, during a protest in Lisbon last year in defence of animal rights
Photo by: STEVEN GOVERNO/LUSA