The Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud and the Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee yesterday educated farmers on the proposed Pounds Act amendment which is to be tabled in the National Assembly and which will see stiffer fines being implemented for owners of stray animals.
This new Act aims to regulate the issue of stray animals which has become a growing problem across the country.
According to a press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA), during a meeting held at the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) Ministers Persaud and Rohee told the farmers to view the amendment as an incentive and a regulation of the issue (stray animals) which is affecting many communities.
Under this amended Act, the fines proposed are $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000, up from $100 and $150 under the old Act.
The release said the Act stated that persons can kill the animal which is causing damage to their premises on the basis that no action is taken after they would have written to the Police and owner of the animal over the specified period of time. The carcass must be handed over to the owner, the Act says.
Clause (2) of the proposed amended Act states that animals exclusive of pigs found straying on the road, bridges, public land and place will be seized and impounded. The owner will have to pay $5000 to retrieve the animal.
While speaking to the farmers Rohee said: “The increased fines are very important because persons used to see the previous fines as a joke. This act seeks to bring a greater sense of law and order to communities. We cannot have on one side trying to address the traffic situation and then not addressing the issue of stray animals which, most times is a hazard to the roadways.”
Meanwhile, Persaud used the opportunity at the meeting to reiterate government’s commitment to the development of the livestock industry especially the pig industry and urged the farmers not to view the amendments as disciplinary actions.
“We want you to work with us to expand on the industry by investing more in livestock