ANIMAL lovers are on the warpath over a controversial tender for management of the Animal Protection Centre in Orihuela which could leave the institution in the hands of a private company.
The process is currently in the hands of a council technical committee, with a contract worth a net €537,000 over the next four years.
Two options are currently on the table, one of which is from the NGO Asoka el Grande, which currently manages the facility and relies extensively on volunteers, and the other from a private firm.
According to reports, Asoka are viewed more favourably since they have been running the shelter for years, but there is some doubt over the association’s economic solvency.
Animal rights activists have become involved, particularly on social networks, where many have voiced fears that animals in need of expensive treatments may be sacrificed should the shelter fall into private hands, since they would not be viewed as ‘profitable.’
Councillor Emilio Bascuñana has refuted the latter claims, stating that the same rules apply whether the facility is managed by a non-profitable association or a private company.
Members of opposition parties have been quick to criticise the situation, since Asoka’s contract to run the shelter expired in September.