Reports of dog attacks and unattended livestock are on the rise, and government is warning owners to be responsible to help prevent harm to people and property.

“We are appealing to owners to ensure their animals are always secured to prevent vicious dog attacks,” Agriculture and Fisheries Director Theodore James said, adding, “These incidents are becoming too frequent, where persons are injured and traumatised.”

In some instances, animals also have been invading properties and destroying vegetation such as vegetables and ornamental plants, according to Mr. James.

“Vehicle collision and damage to water pipes and gardens are the types of report we get involving cattle, sheep and goats,” he added.

The law

Mr. James noted that the Pounds and Livestock Brands Act, 2004 grants government the authority to capture and impound any animal trespassing in a public place or on private land. The animal can then be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the law, which in some instances allow the animal to be euthanised.

Mr. James said his department is working closely with the police to assist in enforcing the law whenever violations occur.

According to the Dogs (Prevention of Injury to Persons, Livestock and Poultry) Act, 2001, it is illegal to have dogs on the beach outside the hours of 6-8 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. Owners also must keep their dogs leashed when outside of their premises. Breaking this law can result in a fine up to $250.

Mr. James also urged owners to microchip their dogs, register them with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and attach the registration tag to their dog’s collar.

Making a report

The public, meanwhile, is asked to avoid feeding stray animals and to report them by calling
468-9143 or 468-6123.