The Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture on Thursday opened a veterinary clinic in Villimale’, the island suburb of Male’ City.
The veterinary clinic, located at the fisheries research centre managed by the ministry, will provide medical treatment to the types of animals usually kept as pets by locals.
Surgeries, treatments and vaccines will be available at the centre. The consultation fee is MVR 50 while all other services, including neutering procedures, will be available for MVR 100.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Minister of Fisheries Zaha Waheed stated that the motive behind opening the clinic was to meet growing public demand for veterinary services rather than generating a profit.
Minister Zaha also urged private parties to take initiative and provide veterinary services for a profit as the clinic was not within the mandate of the Fisheries Ministry. She also stated that the clinic would stop operations when enough private companies or individuals began providing veterinary services.
Additionally, the minister also expressed concern over a recent string of violent cat murders in Male City, and implored that such cruel acts be immediately halted. Minister Zaha highlighted that the Islamic religion called for compassionate treatment of animals.
The veterinarian who will serve at the clinic, Anoosha Hemathy, also spoke at the ceremony and predicted an improvement in the health of animals in Maldives. Anoosha condemned the practice of abandoning pets after a small duration of proper care.
At the inauguration ceremony, a rabies vaccine was administered to a 3-year-old cat. The cat owners spoke of their previous struggles to provide medical treatment for their pet in Maldives and expressed happiness that the clinic was established.
According to the owners, they had adopted the cat in Sri Lanka a year earlier and had no way of vaccinating their pet after they moved to Maldives. They found themselves in an unfortunate situation as they could not seek veterinary services in Sri Lanka, as cats had to be vaccinated to travel to the neighbouring country.
While this is the first time such a clinic has been established in Maldives, the Fisheries Ministry previously operated a ‘Mobile Veterinary Service’ to cater for public demands. The Fisheries Minister stated that the mobile service was unsustainable.