Speaking during the inauguration of the new headquarters of the São Francisco de Assis kennels in Loulé, Silva argued “it is a crime to let a dog starve to death, but it is not a crime to let a horse starve to death. It is a crime to beat a cat, but not to beat a cow.”
The São Francisco de Assis kennel in Loulé is the only shelter in the Algarve to be licenced by the council and the Veterinary Directorate General (DGAV).
The MP chose to mark World Animal Day, which was on Tuesday, 4 October, in the Algarve, a region where he believes there is a “a special and great sensitivity towards the animals that cohabit the planet with us, with numerous animal protection and welfare associations.”
André Silva highlighted the “sensitivity” shown by various municipalities, such as Monchique, where the council has drawn up a document that aims to protect pets in the event of fires and introduced vegetarian meals in schools.
“The majority of councils do not assume their responsibilities and, for decades, thousands of anonymous citizens and hundreds of associations have literally taken on the role of the State and continue to do so”, he said.
Around €250,000 has been invested in the São Francisco de Assis kennel, which was first established 35 years ago.
The funds have been used to renovate the main building and supporting areas.
The kennel is currently home to 300 dogs, 50 cats, a donkey, a mare and a mule.
Over the years Loulé Town Hall has firmed up protocols with the Friends of Abandoned Animals Association which runs the kennels, with a view to cover the need for an official shelter in the area.
It is a positive example, the MP highlighted, adding that nationally, many councils do not fulfil their duties with regard to creating shelters or hiring vets.
However, Mr. Silva voiced concerns over cases of negligence registered in Faro involving donkeys and horses.
He criticised “here the Directorate General of Food and Veterinary has a responsibility to which it has been rather inoperative, and rather negligent, with regard to animal well-being.”
The PAN MP said, on a national level, the DGAV “has been guided by a strictly productivist and sanitarian vision and must take steps forward in the area of animal protection and welfare.”