Cruel treatment of calf in police compound at No 51

Dear Editor,

It seems as though ignoring issues affecting Berbicians is becoming an accepted pattern by those in authority. We are being ignored about the withdrawal of the GuySuCo redundancy letters; we have been ignored about economic transformative projects; we have been ignored about the complaints in relation to noise nuisance; and we have even been ignored about our efforts to free the impounded calf at No 51 Police Station. I do hope the harrowing tale of this calf will touch the hearts of those in authority.

Despite several letters and articles appearing in the media the relevant government officials have become morally and legally blind. “They have mouths but they cannot speak, they have eyes but do not see”, says the Bible. How can people whose stomachs are filled before they are even hungry understand the feeling of being tied and deprived of food and freedom?

When a close look is taken at this calf, the eyes speak of pain and agony, and the face is heavily streaked with the continuous flow of rivulets of tears. It is a heartbreaking sight as it hobbles on its broken leg trying to balance itself as it slowly eats the grass provided by its well-wishers. Its gratitude is evident as it lifts up its head to gaze on the face of its benefactor. But there seems to be a lingering question in those eyes: What have I done wrong to deserve this treatment? I was just two months old when I was hit by an alleged drunken driver, and my leg was broken. I was tied with a short rope, and I received no medical attention until a good Samaritan brought a vet. I have been starved and thirsty for long periods; I have been separated from my mother and longed for her milk as I am being weaned on hunger and starvation. I have endured this silent cruelty from the very people who ought to have protected and cared for me, and it seems likely that on my first birthday I will be in the same condition if I do live. I know that if I had money and the right contacts I would have been freed a long time ago. I have spent the last four months watching the real criminals go free!

The authorities owe this animal an apology since the laws have provisions to deal with stray animals. No owners have surfaced, therefore the calf should have been dealt with as a stray and auctioned off. Chapter 71:04 of the Laws of Guyana should be applied since no one has come forward to claim the animal and no one ever will. Moreover, according to this Act the officer in charge of the station, who is the legal pound-keeper, can be made liable under Section 12 for neglecting to feed and water the calf. He could be fined and dismissed. Furthermore, Section 16 stipulates that the animal should be gazetted and sold after one week. It has been nearly four months since this young calf was illegally incarcerated.

I have read with utter disappointment that the Divisional Commander Lindon Alves said that the ‘calf’s file’ was sent to the DPP for advice and it was returned and forwarded to the Ministry of Public Security where a decision will be made. Some questions immediately come to mind: Was the DPP not supposed to make a recommendation based on the evidence in the file? What recommendations were made by the DPP? Is the Public Security Ministry the department responsible to act on those recommendations and not the police? The Commander should have carried out his duties according to instructions by the DPP. It must be borne in mind that no one other than the calf was injured in the accident and only the car owner’s mirror was broken. Why should the calf be penalized for such a long period despite complaints being made to the Guyana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals?

This animal cruelty is spreading like a plague. On 6th December, two goats tied by ropes died in the compound at the Albion Police Station. Is this the definition of a ‘pound’ according to the laws of Guyana? Is a pound not supposed to be a building with facilities to make the impounded animals comfortable?

Lastly, the Minister of Public Security claimed that he was not told about the calf until a few days ago. However, the Minister and members of his ministry are members of a chat group named ‘Issues and Ideas of Berbice’ which was later renamed ‘Moving Guyana Forward’, and this calf issue has been a regular feature with nearly all the members expressing disgust and deep concern for this animal, calling for its release. This matter was also raised at the recently concluded RDC meeting by Mr Gobin Harbhajan.

Yours faithfully,

Haseef Yusuf

Councillor

RDC Region 6

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