A new public pound is expected to provide much-needed relief for residents who encounter stray animals on their property and serves as a response to the growing number of roaming livestock across the BVI.
Deputy Premier and Agriculture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said in remarks at the opening ceremony of the facility that stray animals eating crops is “a big challenge” locally.
“I am glad that we are getting some of these resources today to be able to address these problems,” Dr Wheatley told attendees at the opening.
“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,” he added.
Pound removes obstacles to development
According to Dr Wheatley, the new 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 & Fisheries, Theodore James called on the persons who are affected by roaming livestock and dogs on their private property to contact and notify his department.
Owners will forfeit animals if unclaimed
In explaining what happens when reports are made, Director James said: “Following notification, the department dispatches the Animal Control Team to investigate or capture animals. Captured animals are processed, publicised and held.”
He further said 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,” he added.
The numbers to call to log a complaint of roaming livestock including stray dogs and cats are 284-468-6123 or 284-468-6124 Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.
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