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Animal welfare centre caught in political controversy Non-governmental animal organisations already benefit from a 20% discount and if government wants them to pay even less, then it should increase their subsidies, San Frangisk animal welfare centre vet Trevor Zammit said. Zammit was reacting to concerns raised by parliamentary secretary for animal rights Roderick Galdes who has ordered a customer care service review on the services provided by the centre. The issue has now ended in political controversy, with the Nationalist Party accusing the government of "ulterior motives". Since the centre was set up, several were the customers who complained of "exorbitant prices" when it should have offered "reasonable prices" as promised by the PN administration. Zammit himself has taken individuals who complained about the service provided to court and has won libel cases. The PN has however suggested that the government's review was aimed at cutting down on expenses of stray animals. It added that if the operator was not breaching the contract's conditions, then the behavior of the government was irresponsible. If the operator was in breach, than a meeting should be held, the PN added. Trevor Zammit was awarded the operations contract of the centre following a public call for applications. Then minister for rural affairs, George Pullicino said the prices charged by the centre were determined by the private operator. In a statement issued yesterday evening, Zammit said the contract he signed with the government stipulated that the general public would be charged commercial rates - "to treat animals which are privately owned at the ongoing commercial rate". He said the centre was completely furnished at his own expense and, as the operator, he was also responsible of the 30 workers employed with the centre. "If the government feels that the subsidised prices for NGOs are too high, then it should increase the subsidies. At the same time we also understand that this would result in added burden for the taxpayer. "On the other hand, in the same way government cannot keep increasing subsidies, we cannot bring down prices under those stipulated by the reality of the market," he said. The parliamentary secretary's press conference outside the animal welfare centre yesterday morning was marked by an argument between Galdes and Zammit. Galdes, who had refused to address journalists inside the centre, 北京pk10官网多少 has now said he didn't want to breach the clients' privacy and disrupt the service. Following his address to the media, Galdes met went inside to meet Zammit. The junior minister said the government wanted the centre to offer "fair and affordable prices" to the consumers. Galdes said he couldn't understand why the PN was defending the operator instead of safeguarding the consumers' interests. "This problem was created by the previous administration which failed to provide for arrangements in the contract signed between the PN government and the operator," Galdes said. The parliamentary secretariat said it was "unfair" the opposition was hindering the general public from passing on what it had to say on the centre. "We felt that action was necessary in light of complaints which have been shelved since the time the centre was opened in October 2010."

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