A new public pound created as a response to the growing number of roaming livestock across the Territory was officially opened last week.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley in remarks at the ceremony said that stray animals eating crops is “a big challenge for us here” in the BVI.
Honourable Wheatley said: “We needed to improve our infrastructure to be able to deal with these stray animals. I am glad that we are getting some of these resources today to be able to address these problems. It is very hard when you plant; you put a lot of time, energy and money into planting just to watch some animals eat your whole garden. It is very difficult.”
The minister affirmed that the new public pound removes some obstacles from his path to developing the agricultural sector. “I have an unyielding commitment to make sure that agriculture and fisheries are going to be a significant part of our economy and a significant part of our society. There are lots of things, obstacles along the way, but I will not be discouraged,” he said.
Meanwhile, Director for Agriculture and Fisheries Mr. Theodore James is calling on the persons who are affected by roaming livestock and dogs on their private property to contact and notify the department.
Director James said, “Following notification, the department dispatches the Animal Control Team to investigate or capture animals. Captured animals are processed, publicised and held. Livestock that is not registered becomes the property of the Crown. All animals will be forfeited to the Crown if their owners do not claim them or do not pay the total amount payable for the release of the animal within 21 days from the day the capture was advertised on the pounds notice board.”
The numbers to call to log a complaint of roaming livestock including stray dogs and cats are 468-6123 or 468-6124 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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