– several animals die from dehydration, starvation
By Andrew Carmichael
There is little doubt that stray animals on the roadways have contributed to some road fatalities, and that stray catchers are fulfiling a much-needed function.
However, even though the Animal Welfare Act passed this year speaks about ‘the protection and well-being of domesticated animals in relation to shelter, food supply, and humane treatment’, the impounded animals have seen no reprieve, and their sufferings and death continue unabatedly.
It would seem that the ‘welfare’ of animals has been restricted to the importance of animals in the food chain.
In January 2014, having denied knowledge on the sufferings and death of impounded animals, the Ministry issued a press release which specifically stated that ‘the police must ensure the safety, health and well-being of impounded animals’; therefore, there is no doubt about whose responsibility it is.
“Has this changed since then by our Ministry of Public Security?” one Berbice resident questioned.
More recently, a calf was impounded by the Police at Number 51 Police Station Pound on the Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne), having allegedly been the cause of an accident involving a vehicle in which, fortunately, no one was hurt and only a glass was broken from the vehicle. This animal has been impounded for more than one week, reportedly with no water or food, and it was only because of the timely intervention of a Government official that it received some water and grass on Thursday last.
Just a few months ago, two goat’s kids had to be rescued by the said Government official at the Number 62 Police Outpost also on the Corentyne. Had this not been so, they would have probably died from dehydration and starvation.
This is in addition to a calf with a broken back leg, which had to be strapped by the said Government official and the station sergeant. The official had, for two weeks, had to cut grass for this animal, since its condition was deteriorating rapidly; until it was given to the car driver involved in the accident.
Not long ago, many animals, including sheep, horses, donkeys and cows, died in pounds at Albion Police Station, Black Bush Polder, and other police stations throughout Berbice.
“What is sad is the fact that these police officers who are supposed to take care of the welfare of these poor animals would sit, eat and drink to their fill, while looking at these suffering animals tied right before their very eyes,” one Berbice resident remarked.
Reports are that a number of impounded animals die as a result of dehydration and starvation. On most occasions, Police officers would say they are keeping these animals for evidence or exhibit. Be it so, with modern technology, it should be possible to take pictures, or even video of the animals, which can be used in a court of law as evidence.