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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

IAR animal welfare awards

For the second consecutive year International Animal Rescue Malta presented awards for the best radio and television programmes to promote animal welfare in Malta, and for the first time an award was also given for the best animal welfare act.

The best radio programme was won by Ms Sonya Young, who produces a weekly animal phone-in programme on Radio RTK. This two hour phone-in programme promotes many areas of animal welfare.

Amongst the discussions were discussions on animal rights, legislation, cruelty, dog fighting, illegal hunting, and horse races on roads. It also gave air-time to the various animal welfare groups. This is the second time that this programme has won the award.The television programme award went to a very young producer, Ms Andrea Cassar who presents a children’s programme called [email protected] In this one and a half hour programme Andrea promotes animal rights, how to look after animals, veterinary advice, care for pets and so on. She also organises competitions for the children. The main item in her programme is the rehoming of stray animals.

The new award that was launched this year was awarded to Vince Tanti, a 12 year old boy who saved a weasel from drowning and brought it over to the International Animal Rescue Rehabilitation Centre. The weasel was released two months later. Mr Tanti was canoeing with his father when, while resting in one of the inlets, they saw a small animal being washed into the sea by a wave. On hearing the screams from the animal, the little boy swam to it and rescued it. "At first I thought it was a rat but then I realised that it was a weasel." He wrapped it in his T-shirt, canoed for about three kilometres and brought it to the IAR center. We managed to save the animal and release it back into the wild. It was very difficult to choose the winner in this section: as a runner up we had a 12 year old girl who had found a bird of prey injured in a field and, without realising the danger she was in, she rescued it and took it home.