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Olhão Mayor António Pina pushes “animal welfare to the background”, accuse PAN

PAN, the People-Animals-Nature party, has this week stated that the “attitude” of António Pina, mayor of Olhão, “has once again confirmed that not all topics are to be debated in public and, once again, the animal welfare cause has been pushed to the background”.

This was said after a public session of the Municipal Assembly of Olhão was held on December 19th, where PAN had no official representation. Alexandre Pereira, a citizen of Olhão, asked Mr. Pina a question about municipal interests in animal welfare during the Q&A period reserved for the public.

PAN has stated that the mayor’s reply was: “I have nothing to say regarding the questions raised.” Notwithstanding being entitled to refuse any request for clarification on important matters of the council over which he presides, “this attitude has once again confirmed that not all topics are to be debated in public and, once again, the cause of animal welfare has been turned away” they regret.

On December 14th, it was reported in the newspaper Correio da Manhã, that from January to December 2019, 81 mistreated horses were collected by the City Council of Olhão.

PAN have expressed that they urgently want answers to a series of questions surrounding the Council’s handling of the aforementioned situation, stating that “in this meeting the municipality has shown there is a need to provide clarification for many questions, the answers have remained unclear. Where are the 81 collected equines right now? Were they returned to the holders, sold, adopted or slaughtered? Which entity made the collection? Is there a public contract, how long does it last and how much does each collection cost the municipality? Where were they when they were collected, under what conditions were these animals? There is supervision, who does it, when, how and where it is done?”. These are questions they included in a press release sent out yesterday, January 6th.

According to PAN, the question which the mayor was asked was: “What should be done or what are the procedures when an animal is run over on the public road, in the municipality of Olhão? Who collects the animal, where it is sent and in case of need for help and intervention, who ensures the treatment and bears the costs?”

According to Decree-Law No. 82/2019, which establishes the rules for the identification of pets and animals requiring medical intervention without being identified the owner, the treatment relies on the opinion of who owns it when the chip is placed.

For PAN, “following the refusal to clarify and taking into account the numerous situations and reports that almost daily come to the party’s knowledge, the party will urgently request a meeting with the Olhão municipal executive to clarify topics of municipal interest.”