“Animals have no right to be on the road anywhere in the country and should be grazed in pastures; amendments of legislation has made allowance for fines to owners to be increased,” says Traffic Chief, Senior Superintendent Neil Semple.
The Traffic Chief said that collaborative efforts are continuing with Police and NDC stray catchers to rid the streets of cattle.
However, he noted that cattle owners must show respect for the law or face the consequences of amended legislation as stray animals on the roadways remain a major source of danger to motorists nationwide.
At the administrative and enforcement level, he said, the police and neighbourhood democratic councils are in continuous meetings to address the issue, but noted that there is some level of disrespect on the part of some cattle owners who believe that their animals have a right to be on the road.
He noted that in some cases, animals are not branded and this proves difficulty in establishing ownership as some head to the road when flooding occurs in pastures.
In some cases, lives have been put at risk as motorists swerve to avoid animals. Recently, the mother of four boys lost her life when a motorist reportedly swerved to avoid hitting a cow.
However, the Traffic Chief said that sometimes animals are blamed for accidents caused by speeding vehicles.
Meanwhile, owners of stray animals are to feel the squeeze on their pockets with a proposed 100 percent increase in pound fees per animal found straying on the streets of the capital shortly.
Yesterday, following a meeting with constabulary heads, City Mayor Hamilton Green said that a proposal has been made for stray animal impound fees be raised from $1500 to $3000 per animal.
Noting that the issue of stray animals is an age old problem for his municipality, he said, “Any stray animal found roaming the streets of Georgetown should be picked up by council stray catchers and impounded at the Le Repentir pound.”
Mayor Green said the issue of stray animals roaming the city streets is one of many problems facing the city’s administration, but noted that as at yesterday further efforts are afoot to curb this henceforth.
He said that his administration has been trying to get the animals off the streets but has encountered instances of the owners either being in jail or having other social issues that cause them to leave their animals unattended.
But that will no longer be accepted as an excuse.
Things are about to change with the stepping up of efforts by city stray catchers. Council, he said is looking at a new system to deal with stray animals and posited that they will incorporate the use of a trailer that they received on loan from government to assist with treating the general problem.
As a measure, he said that impounding animals will continue and he advised that public spirited citizens should immediately report the sighting of any cows on the streets of the capital city to the constabulary department via telephone numbers 225-1985 or 226-8644.
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