Animal welfare issues in Guyana continue to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. Just about two weeks ago came the unwelcome news, in the Kaieteur News of 1st March 2013, of the sexual assault on a female dog by an alleged repeat offender at Tuschen on the East Bank Essequibo. According to the newspaper report the suspect was taken into police custody.
Today’s Kaieteur News (March 19, 2013) tells the gruesome tale of a girl mauled by a Pitbull that apparently scaled the low fence that contained him before attacking the child. The Pitbull in turn, was chopped to death by rescuers in order to save the child. The newspaper report noted that this Pitbull “would usually jump the fence.” This is another tale of unnecessary carnage resulting from vicious dogs on the loose. How many more times will we hear the same story of irresponsible ownership leading to unnecessary suffering?
The Guyana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has repeatedly tried to engage the Guyana Police Force (GPF) with the intention of working with its Service and Protection Unit in enforcing this country’s animal welfare laws. Animal welfare laws do exist in Guyana, and while efforts are underway to improve them, our current animal welfare laws arc enforceable and do address many of the numerous cases of animal abuse that take place in our society. About a year ago, Commissioner of Police Brumell arranged for members of the GSPCA:s Executive Committee to meet with another senior member of the GPF; regrettably, the GSPCA’s attempts at
follow-up action proved frustratingly futile.
Perhaps all is not lost, though. The GSPCA remains willing and able to work with the Guyana Police Force in enforcing our animal welfare laws when necessary and to implement the suggestions the Society had provided the GPF with. These two most recent unfortunate incidents involving animals present an opportunity for the GPF and our judiciary to send a message to irresponsible animal owners and animal abusers alike that, if found guilty, their actions will not be tolerated and that they will face the consequences the law attaches to their actions.
In this information age where stories like these rapidly spread across countries, Guyana cannot afford not to act decisively. The world is watching.
The GSPCA Executive Committee:
Oliver Insanally, Jennifer Falconer-Majeed Shiromanic Isaacs, Dominique
Ahmad. Dr. Steve Surujbally. Dr Nicholas Waldron, Robin Sivanand and Laleta Sivanand