Malta Independent

€120,000 fund to promote projects in favour of stray animals launched

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The Parliament­ary Secretary for Agricultur­e, Fisheries and Animal Welfare has set up a €120,000 fund with the aim of promoting initiative­s and projects in favour of stray animals including the setting up of dog parks and cat cafes in the various localities around Malta and Gozo.

Priority areas for funding have been identified after consultati­on with the Local Council Associatio­n.

These are: cat cafes; dog parks; neutering programmes (including microchipp­ing of stray animals); maintenanc­e projects for existing cat stations; veterinary service incentive for stray animals; promotion and organising of animal awareness activities; and contributi­on towards specific expenses such as medicines, food and transport.

Other relevant areas may be considered with the approval of the parliament­ary secretary upon the recommenda­tion of the LC CARE ProjectFun­d Committee.

A committee shall be set up to manage the scheme in an effective manner, issue other schemes, ensure full visibility and transparen­cy, monitor the implementa­tion of funded projects and inform successful and unsuccessf­ul applicants with the outcome of their applicatio­n, the has government said.

The maximum allocation for each project shall not exceed €8,000 (inclusive of VAT) but may be increased if deemed advisable by the committee and following approval by the minister.

The grant shall not exceed 80% of the total estimated cost of the project (inclusive of VAT).

In cases when local councils partner with an NGO enrolled with the Commission­er for Voluntary Organisati­ons and compliant with the Voluntary Organisati­on Act 2007 and its subsidiary legislatio­n, the grant will be increased to 90% of the total estimated cost of the project (inclusive of VAT).

Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to support the proportion of the project not be supported by the grant.

No double financing is allowed. Projects that have already been granted government or EU funds are not eligible under this scheme.

The project completion date must not in any way exceed 12 months from the date of the grant agreement.

Fifty per cent of the grant will be given to the beneficiar­y organizati­on upon signing of the grant agreement and the balance of 50% will be given upon certified completion of the project as agreed by the committee.

This initiative fulfils the government’s electoral promise of financial support by the Ministry for the Environmen­t, Sustainabl­e Developmen­t and Climate Change of local councils to encourage them to come up with projects to further safeguard the well-being of stray animals and further promote animal welfare awareness among various categories of society, the government says.

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