More consultation needed on Animal Welfare Bill – ABKC country rep

The Guyana branch of the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) is concerned that local dog owners have not been sensitised adequately on the Animal Welfare Bill No 21 of 2016.

Country representative of the ABKC, Kabisa Rogers
Country representative of the ABKC, Kabisa Rogers
Dog owners with their Pit Bulls turned out to the photo shoot on Sunday
Dog owners with their Pit Bulls turned out to the photo shoot on Sunday

Country representative of the ABKC, Kabisa Rogers, during a photo shoot and fundraiser on Sunday at the 1823 Monument on the Kitty Seawall, who played an integral part in getting the dog enthusiasts together, said there have not been enough consultations on the Bill. He noted that the public is still unaware of the particulars of this Bill; there has been a lack of complaints or feedback.
According to Rogers, the primary concern regarding the Bill for dog breeders would be whether there is any direct or indirect effect on hosting dog shows. To emphasise the importance of these shows, he pointed out its tourism potential.
He also admitted that ABKC’s local registry is still growing. Hence, this has contributed to the lack of feedback from dog owners about the Bill.
A motion was moved for the Bill to be read for the second time in the National Assembly on February 9, but after extensive debates, it was sent to a Parliamentary Special Select Committee. The Opposition People’s Progressive Party’s main contention with the Bill was its penalties, which they described as ‘draconian’.
Among the provisos of the Bill is Clause 28, which mandates breeders of three or more companion animals (pets) wishing to sell their animals, to apply for permission from the requisite authority before they can breed them. There is a fine of $60,000 and imprisonment of four months for those found guilty of breaching this stipulation.
In addition, the Government sponsored Bill will seek to prevent the sale of these animals to anyone below the age of 18.
Rogers, who is a national judo competitor, revealed that he has always had a passion for Pit bull terriers and Pit bull type dogs.
He has personally been involved with breeding the dogs for the past eight years and is of the firm belief that these dogs are not necessarily dangerous. He believes that pit bulls are subjected to an unfair, negative stereotype.
“I got involved with the initiatives which saw countries promoting Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) to eradicate the pit bull. All dogs can be aggressive. To avert public attacks, persons need to have any aggressive dog secured properly, whether while walking them or having them in a yard. I also strongly recommend that they socialise their animals at a young age.”
The club is the official registry for the bully breed, which was created in 1980 and officially recognised as a breed in 2004. It was also formed in 2004, is considered the governing registry for the American Bully Breed. The Bully Breed is the formal name for what is, in effect, a Pit Bull type dog. The breed of dog is also common worldwide.
Despite its specialisation in the Bully Breed, the organisation is also a multi-breed registry. It also hosts competitions, events and shows in an effort to promote the dog in a positive way and to educate the public, while also bringing dog owners together.