December 7, 2023

The Editor Speaks: Ill treatment of animals is a mounting problem with few prosecutions

Colin WilsonwebIt is against the law to ill treat animals but you wouldn’t think so by the lack of prosecutions.

Just last week iNews Cayman published two horrifying stories about horrific ill treatment of a dog. One story was here in the Cayman Islands and concerned an emaciated and starving dog left in a box outside the Cayman Islands Human Society’s dog drop off kennel.

The dog had signs of being chained up without food and water and had almost starved to death. The staff there were shocked and said it was the worst case they had seen. Certainly the pictures on the media websites support this view.

The dog was taken to Island Vets for intense IV treatment and his condition has improved considerably and may make a full recovery.

Our second story was even worse.

The cruelty done to this dog in Grand Bahama was so bad we even had to warn our readers that the photograph we we were showing was a “GRAPHIC IMAGE”.

Here, an eight old puppy that was a pit bull cross had escaped from its garden and someone had THROWN ACID into the pup’s face.

From the article:

“The neighbors had helped immensely by hosing him down but there was still considerable damage done. We rushed to pick him up and Dr. Gibbs is doing everything possible, but both his eyes were affected and only time will tell whether he will see again; it does not look hopeful as the damage is pretty extensive. The acid splashed his face, ears and feet also. He is on meds and is heavily bandaged. Despite all this, his tail still wags.”

Unfortunately, the pup’s injuries were so bad and had gotten even worse, he had to be euthanised. When the vet went to change his bandages she found the acid “was still eating away at his flesh and he was much, much, worse than yesterday, his skin was just sloughing off. He was in pain and suffering.”

Despite legislation here and in the Bahamas, no one is able to say if anyone has ever been prosecuted, let alone if the prosecution was even successful. Reports about significant acts of abuse and cruelty are routinely reported. It’s not as if the authorities don’t know.

Then there is the highly toxic weed killer, Paraquat, that is banned world wide because there is no antidote, but is legally available in Cayman. Paraquat for years has been fed to dogs and cats here to intentionally kill them ever since I arrived in Cayman almost 32 years ago. Petitions have been mounted to get Paraqat banned but for reasons unknown successive governments have not listened.

“Breathing in Paraquat may cause lung damage and can lead to a disease called Paraquat lung. Paraquat causes damage to the body when it touches the lining of the mouth, stomach, or intestines. You can get sick if Paraquat touches a cut on your skin. Paraquat may also damage the kidneys, liver, and esophagus.

“If Paraquat is swallowed, death can rapidly occur. Death may occur from a hole in the esophagus, or from acute inflammation of the mediastinum, the area that surrounds the major blood vessels and airways in the middle of the chest.

“Chronic exposure to Paraquat may cause pulmonary fibrosis, a stiffening of the lung tissue.” Source: MedlinePlus.

The above is what happens if a human being has the misfortune to drink Paraquat. Can you imagine the suffering it does to an animal. Just one teaspoonful fed to a dog will kill it but it  take three weeks of agony before it does.

Our society has been calling for action in the face of animal cruelty plus the banning of Paraquat and for the authorities to enforce the law for years now, but whilst sympathetic noises are made, nothing is done.

Perhaps government could quickly set up another 20 plus member committee, like they have just done over the dump, to evaluate and look into animal cruelty together with the dangers of Paraquat and report back with their recommendations within say a couple of years?

The only way Paraquat will be banned in the Cayman Islands, will be, God forbid, a child or a baby is killed by it. Then the government members can wait for the lawsuit to hit them.

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