October 15, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Animal abuse

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It is a shocking blot on our landscape that abuse of animals is not taken seriously here at all.

It is no use the RCIPS saying I am wrong and they do. I have to say to them “Show me the statistics”.

The RCIPS love to publicize statistics when they show how good they are with all the charges and arrests they have made but when it comes to animal cruelty you have to actually ask them for them.

Not one case has ever gone to Court.

Out of 225 cases investigated by animal control and welfare officers at the Department of Agriculture this year, only one is proceeding with criminal charges!

The sexual assaults on ponies at the Equestrian Centre, currently being investigated by the RCIPS has gone quiet, except “it is still being investigated”. How high up the ladder of investigations is not determined.

The abuse of pets goes on unabated and dogs are still dying from the banned poison Paraquat.

We have media reports and live television images of starving and neglected animals. Including the charred and burnt bodies of dogs.

Animal Welfare Officer Erik Bodden has been reported as saying, “Standard operating procedures within the Animal Control and Welfare Services of the DOA are to work with those clients to resolve those issues reported and observation officers see on location this has been successful in most cases.”

“Successful”? What success?

We have a number of animal charities here that are working tirelessly to help and unless persons responsible for the abuse are prosecuted, we will need even more.

There is currently an online petition on the website Change.org – https://www.change.org/p/the-cayman-islands-government-department-of-agriculture-animal-abuse-must-stop-investigate-prosecute-cases-be-held-accountable

However, all talk and no action will not achieve anything.

The petition states:

“With all the efforts made by animal non-profits, businesses in the animal industry, and volunteers trying to reduce the pet population, making daily steps to cope with the demands to rehabilitate and re-home animals, as well as helping to fund maintenance & medical care for animals where owners struggle with providing the basic necessities for their animals, it’s evident the community has done everything in its power to help contribute to an overall improvement for animal welfare.

“That said, there continues to be animals used in dog fights {or “bait”} some animals are overbred, starved, imprisoned within small confines, restricting any basic level of adequate movement {as they are forced to sit/live in their of faeces} burned on property lots, sexually assaulted, tied to death trees for their miserable lives to be carried out without access to basic food, clean water or basic shelter. Some of these animals are being kicked/yelled at and tortured with physical abuse or neglecting obvious signs of bodily deterioration as their bones show evidence of months or years of little to no food.

“Now, we are well past the time to acknowledge this issue. The legal enforcement/follow through requires ACTION now.”

It certainly is high time some priority is given to animal welfare. They can’t speak for themselves.

I pray that my pessimism will be proved wrong but…..

I will no doubt be writing another Editorial on Animal Abuse.

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