The long-awaited first veterinary clinic in the Maldives opened in the capital’s suburb Vilimalé on Thursday.
Located in a research centre managed by the ministry of fisheries, marine resources and agriculture, the clinic offers surgeries, vaccines, neutering, microchipping and other treatments with a consultation fee of MVR50 (US$3.2).
A rabies vaccine was administered to a cat by resident veterinarian Anoosha Hemathy at an inauguration event.
Speaking at the ceremony, Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed noted that veterinary services were not within the ministry’s mandate and urged private parties to open clinics.
The fisheries ministry previously operated a mobile vet service that was deemed inadequate and unsustainable.
The minister also expressed concern with a recent spate of stray cat killings in Malé. A police investigation was launched last week after a petition was submitted by a group of concerned citizens.
Photos of dead cats left on the streets were widely circulated on social media.
Cats are the most popular pets in the country.
Several exotic animals were discovered during a police crackdown on illegal pets in 2014, including a slow loris, a royal python, a Kingsnake, a Mexican red-kneed tarantula, a sugar glider (possum), an owl, and several iguanas.
Hon @ZahaWaheed attended the opening of the Veterinary Services in Villimale' today. The Vet Services will be open for appointments on Mondays and Thursdays from 2pm – 4pm. The hotline number for the Center is 7448286. pic.twitter.com/1hCr8ezK96
— Min. of Fisheries, Marine Resources & Agriculture (@FishAgri) January 10, 2019
— Hamna Waheed 🎈 (@HamWahydd) January 10, 2019