Police Give Owners of Stray Animals Two-Week Deadline
The Royal St.Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) has given owners of stray animals two weeks to bring their animals under control.
A release issued this afternoon warned owners of stray animals âthroughout the length and breadth of St.Vincent and the Grenadines to have them tied.â
âThe animals, mainly cows and sheep, are usually untied mainly in the areas of Argyle, Buccament, Diamond and Cane Garden and are seen walking the streets freely.
âThis situation creates potential for accidents and against this backdrop the Police is giving the owners two (2) weeks to have the situation rectified.
âActions will be taken within the confines of the law if the animals are not tied by the allotted time frame,â the release said.
The warning from the police came just hours after SEARCHLIGHT published an article in which residents of Cane Garden complained about the invasion of their properties by livestock left to run free in the neighbourhood.
Long-time resident of the area Michael Findlay told SEARCHLIGHT the issue is not a new one, as he has been writing to the relevant authorities about the matter since before 2014.
âI have had to clean six heaps of cow dung which were deposited on the lawn late last week and sometime last evening,â Findlay, a former West Indies cricketer said in a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Police in 2015.
âOn a previous occasion it took me more than an hour to clean the many heaps of cow dung off the lawn. One day last week, I had to leave the comfort and warmth of my bed after midnight to chase the animals off the lawn,â Findlay said in correspondence to the authorities.
Findlayâs letter of complaint was also sent to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and the director of the Physical Planning unit.
However, Findlay told SEARCHLIGHT on Thursday that the situation has not improved and as many as eight cattle and calves can be seen roaming the neighbourhood.
âIt is not that the cattle broke their chains or rope. They do no even have neck rope, which indicates that they are not usually tied,â he said.
Another resident, Dr Adrian Fraser, told SEARCHLIGHT that on any given day there would be six or seven cows roaming the area.
âThey sometimes block the street; you have to wait until they get out of the street. But worse is that they come right in front of your house and they just do what they have to do; they leave their mess there,â Fraser said.
He stated that last week, around 8 a.m., he witnessed an elderly lady trying to push four cows out of the way with a stick.
Fraser said no one knows who the animals belong to, adding that some residents have confronted possible owners of these animals. âBut nobody claims to know who owns these cows. And it is something which has been going on for quite a long time,â he said.
Residents are also worried about their health, as the invasion of cattle and other livestock seems to have resulted in a tick infestation.
One resident said that she has found ticks in at least two bedrooms and had to fumigate her house on three separate occasions.
âItâs not cheap,â she declared. âWhy should we have to incur the cost of getting rid of ticks when the goats, sheep and cows that are bringing the ticks donât belong to us.â
The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, explained that she has a young daughter and does not want her to get bitten by the ticks.
She further noted that she has lodged complaints with the Public Health Department in the Ministry of Health, but nothing has been done to remedy the situation.