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Animal rights activists calls on PM to update legislation

Friday, February 1, 2013

Animal rights activists are calling on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to immediately update legislation relating to treatment of animals after a number of poisoned animals were found in various areas around Trinidad.


President of Animals Alive Kathryn Cleghorn expressed fear yesterday that animals were being killed by unknown people baiting the animals with poisoned food.


She said over the past few weeks her organisation has received numerous reports of poisoned animals being dumped in areas such as Forres Park, Claxton Bay and parts of Diego Martin.


Cleghorn said members of her organisation reported finding dead dogs, corbeaux (vultures,) sea hawks and ospreys, all of which had been poisoned. She said some of the carcasses were tested by veterinarians who confirmed the animals were poisoned with Lanate.


“This is very upsetting, extremely upsetting... What is more frustrating is there is nobody we can go to (if we want) to commence any proceedings,” Cleghorn said.


She said while offences of cruelty against animals exist under the Summary Offences Act (1956), the police are not interested in enforcing it.


“Even if we report it to the police the fine is so small that they (the police) do not waste their time,” Cleghorn said. 


“The fine is $200 or $300. The act was written in 1956 and it has not been updated yet. We again renew our appeal to the Prime Minister and her Government, please update, create and expedite laws where people can be seriously charged for acts of cruelty to animals,” she said.


She said the vets said once the birds consumed the carcasses of the poisoned animals they, too, can die. She added that there have been reports of companies in central Trinidad paying people to feed poisoned herring to stray dogs and the sea gulls.


Cleghorn said many dogs were suffering because they have no homes and no owner.


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