The Animal Welfare Commissioner has called for the Ta' Qali Luna Park to be relocated to another site over concerns that its presence will be detrimental to the animals at the nearby petting farm. 

The family entertainment park is going to be set up next to the petting farm in Ta' Qali, which could hinder the well-being of the elderly animals that are kept there, Commissioner Alison Bezzina has warned. 

“This location is home to elderly farm animals spending their final days and hundreds of birds that are highly sensitive to sound and noise vibrations,” Alison Bezzina said.

For years, local amusement park enthusiasts and families would head to Manoel Island in Gżira, where the popular Italian amusement park would set up base for the summer months.

Last year, after a four-year hiatus, the Luna Park returned to the Maltese Islands, announcing that it would be relocating to Ta’Qali.

This year, Luna Park is set to open its doors to the public this Saturday, May 25 till July 14, operating from 5 pm till late.

Luna Park will set up right next to the Ta'Qali petting farm for the next two months. Photo: Google MapsLuna Park will set up right next to the Ta'Qali petting farm for the next two months. Photo: Google Maps

The land on which the family amusement park is to be set up is owned by INDIS Malta. According to PA documents, INDIS Malta approved the temporary use of the installation of Luna Park.

In a statement published on Monday, Bezzina said she disapproved and condemned the decision to set up the amusement park so close to the petting farm, and said she was never consulted on the decision.

“It is planned for the Luna Park to be open every day for two whole months, and it is unfathomable that out of all the open spaces available, this specific location was chosen for the second consecutive year,” she said.

“This decision goes against animal welfare principles and sends the wrong message about the respect we should have for animals.”

Bezzina called for the authorities to reconsider the location of the amusement park and to prioritise the health and well-being of the animals. 

Speaking to Times of Malta, Bezzina said last year the Commission found out about the location of Luna Park only after it was set up and opened. 

“I raised concerns with the petting farm, who assured me they were going to take precautions to safeguard the animals,” she said.

She said last year, the petting farm informed her that they moved the birds to a different location and made sure that the farm animals had indoor enclosures available so they could go inside when the music started. 

The petting farm falls under the responsibility of Project Green. 

Animal activist and host of the TV show Animal Diaries Moira Delia was one of the first to flag the issue on Facebook.

“Who in their right mind would approve a permit for all that racket right next to a petting farm,” Delia said.

“Only complete imbeciles. But don’t just sit there- speak up! And if no one listens, animal lovers will boycott the Luna Park.”

She said the birds and animals at the farm will be living a “nightmare” for two months so that people can have some fun. 

Questions have been sent to the owners of Luna Park and Project Green.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us