– 24 applicants shortlisted
Anyone who interferes with the work of stray catchers will be severely dealt with by the law. This is the warning issued by Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee during a meeting with recently recruited stray catchers, yesterday, at the Ministry’s boardroom.
Yesterday’s meeting came at a time when the Ministry is in the process of resuscitating the role of stray catchers.
Following the publication of notices to fill the vacancies, 24 persons from several areas throughout the country have applied for jobs as stray catchers.
The applicants, who were present at yesterday’s meeting, were mainly from West Demerara, Georgetown, Moblissa and West Berbice.
According to Minister Rohee, to facilitate the restoration of the process, the administration first embarked on the rehabilitation and in some cases the construction of several pounds throughout the country.
These pounds are primarily located at the various police stations.
The money paid to stray catchers was increased from $1000 to $5000 per head of cattle impounded.
“People would say the amount of money that was originally allocated was not sufficient, so we have increased it from $1000 to $5000, which I think is quite substantive,” the Minister said.
He said that in every occupation there are risks and the work of a stray catcher is no exception.
To this end, the administration had anticipated the worst case scenario with regards to the risks stray catchers are likely to encounter in the execution of their duties.
There have been cases in the past when stray catchers have been attacked while carrying out their lawful functions.
But the Minister warned that anyone who violates the law with respect to preventing the stray catchers from carrying out their duties could face obstruction or assault charges.
“When you obstruct a policeman from carrying out his duties, there is a charge for that. If you’re to assault him, you’re charged for assault causing grievous bodily harm, so with respect to the stray catchers, the police will find the appropriate charge to deal with this,” the Minister stated.
Under the law anyone can take a stray animal to the pound but according to Minister Rohee, his Ministry in recruiting official stray catchers, is seeking to regularise the operation.
“What we are trying to avoid is a man just picking up cattle and taking it to the pound for the reward,” the Minister pointed out.
Plans are also in place to have the official stray catchers identified in a special way so as not to create any undue confusion.
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