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Horta ,  December 12, 2018

Regional Government working to meet "zero killing" of animals until 2022, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated today on Faial that the Regional Government is taking "concrete steps" to achieve the "zero killing" of animals, either of abandoned pets or stray animals, in the Region by 2022, emphasising the priority to focus on sterilisation and responsible adoption.
"In more than half of the municipalities, where 87% of Region's population resides, the conditions for full compliance with the legislation in force are met," said João Ponte. According to him, "it is important to continue this work in the remaining municipalities of the Region so that it will be possible to reach the goal towards the "zero killing" of pets or stray animals by the end of 2022. "
"This goal is feasible and depends, above all, on the political willingness of mayors," stressed João Ponte, who spoke at the presentation of an awareness campaign against the abandonment of pets and stray animals in the Azores.
In the first six months of this year, more pets were adopted than those adopted throughout 2017 and the number of animal killings has decreased significantly in the Region. For the government official, these indicators are encouraging and demonstrate that the Azores are on the right track.
João Ponte praised the actions of municipal veterinarians and local authorities in the compliance with the legislation in force as well as the "persistent and tireless" work of animal protection associations. On the part of the Regional Government, he ensured that the issue of abandoned animals has deserved the Government's attention, commitment and responsibility.
"Good sense and responsibility are precisely what we expect from all those involved in this process. This is a profoundly serious issue, not only for public health and safety reasons and the tranquillity of people, but also for safeguarding the welfare of animals themselves and their quality of life," said João Ponte.
The Regional Secretary also stated that the awareness-raising efforts and the inspection actions conducted by the Regional Government in kennels and official collection centres have been crucial to improve the welfare and shelter conditions of animals as well as to increase the number of sterilisations and responsible adoptions.
"In order to achieve even better results in the future, it is essential to strengthen coordination and cooperation between the Government, animal protection associations, veterinarians, animal owners and municipalities," mentioned João Ponte.
The government official announced that the inspections of official kennels and animal collection centres will be reinforced in 2019. Moreover, the Government will introduce amendments to the ordinance establishing the system of financial contributions to be allocated to animal protection associations in order to speed up application procedures and secure more financial resources so that they may continue their work on the ground.
Likewise, the registration of pets and stray animals will be implemented and there will be events aimed at raising the awareness of society for animal welfare and adoption at the Azores Fair 2019 to take place on Faial.
The awareness-raising campaign that begins today under the motto "Azores without abandoned animals" stems from the contributions of the Association of Municipalities of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the Portuguese Veterinary Medical Association and animal protection associations, among other institutions.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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