Tighter dog control laws needed

The authorities are being hauled over the coals for failing to implement updated dog control regulations.

Two days after five pit bulls attacked and killed 74-year-old Verona Gibson near her Monroe Road, Haggatt Hall, St Michael home, Veterinary Inspector at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Wayne Norville said better must be done to protect Barbadians from attacks by vicious dogs.

An upset Norville said in very much the same way there were stringent laws protecting turtles, it was time for Government to introduce much tighter legislation to control dogs.

“You have a $50,000 fine on any person that is caught with a marine turtle, the turtle shell or the eggs . . . . What are the chances of the average Bajan coming in contact with a marine turtle? Most people come in contact with dogs regularly . . . surely a lot more than a marine turtle,” the RSPCA inspector said, admitting that marine turtle regulations were part of international law.

He said a number of recommendations aimed at strengthening the dog control laws were presented to Government 12 years ago, which continued to sit “on somebody’s desk or in somebody’s file” while the owners of dangerous dogs were allowed to go about their business with few checks and balances.

“They probably might take them out now, dust it off because someone has been killed and they probably might come and give some hot air about it and it gine end right back there  . . . cause they ain’t doing anything about it,” the animal control advocate said.

“We have a number of people who import dogs in Barbados but . . . nothing is sent to the animal control centre, so either myself or the centre don’t know until something happens.”

The RSPCA spokesman drew attention to existing laws which require all dogs that are at least six months old to be licensed and for dog owners to keep their animals on their premises and enclosed so they do not pose a danger to the public.

Norville told Barbados TODAY he had no first-hand knowledge of the fatal attack on the elderly woman.

However, he surmised the animals that killed the senior citizen were not socialized.

“When your dog accidentally escapes your premises, he or she is going to a completely different world, because it only knows your premises. Anything or anyone could become a threat to that dog. What the dog perceives as a human being is who he knows or what it is accustomed seeing. So all of these are things that could trigger a dog.

“My whole assumption of what happened on Saturday,” he went on, “[is that] the gentleman had an Akita cross dog bitch who was in season. Once she goes out and attract other female dogs around her, including the ones from her immediate yard . . . some of them know her already. And once she attracts male  . . . what is going to happen is anything that the female dog attacks or barks at becomes a whole threat to the pack of dogs.”

During Saturday’s deadly attack 30-year-old neighbour Damien McCollin, who had gone to the woman’s aid was also attacked by the dogs and was treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for is injuries.

Efforts to reach Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite for comment proved futile.

9 Responses to Tighter dog control laws needed

  1. michael parker January 31, 2017 at 3:59 am

    two days have past and no word as to theese dogs being put down or not, (should be put down imedietley)

  2. Veronica Straker
    Veronica Straker January 31, 2017 at 5:59 am

    That is the job of the police and not the RSPCA.
    Knee jerk reaction by next month she and all this will be forgotten until the next time.

  3. North Point January 31, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Mr. Norville we all speak about having stronger laws when ever something happens, the question is, who will follow though when these laws are implemented. Don’t tell me the police, they have their hands full already, dog fighting is big business in BIM, I am sure that you know that, and its well organized as well, no small man cant do that. just band some of these breeds, and put to sleep the remaining stock on the island, end of story.

  4. Brewster January 31, 2017 at 7:33 am

    The police should investigate and give answers to that family immediately. Her family should be able to sue for negligence on the Govts part for lack of legislation. She was walking on a public road. If the dogs were free to roam due to them escaping or not the owner is responsible. Glad the RSPCA has spoken out. Obviously they cannot act withoug Govt intervention with regards to thd law. No family member of mine could die in this way without me fighting till the end for justice and tighter regulations. Seek legal assistance family of deceased no matter the cost. If it was a tourist Attorney General would have commented by now and the dogs would have been put down. This would have been done immediately. They don’t pussy foot around whether the dogs were good or bad, fact is a woman was MAULED TO DEATH!

  5. Brewster January 31, 2017 at 7:40 am

    I was referring to what happens in the UK. Maybe somebody needs to contact Overseas foreign offices with regard to safety for visitors coming to Barbados not only regarding gun violence but also stray dog attacks.

  6. Pamalea Payne
    Pamalea Payne January 31, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I hope the owner is paying her burial fee

  7. Frank White January 31, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I think that just as security companies has to secure an insurance policy or deposit the required amount as one of the requirements to start a security guard company so too should these want to be dog owners. They should be meant to pay for this dog(s) insurance or a direct deposit which would cover any damages that may occur to person or property that the dog(s) may cause. The dog in turn should be licensed, the premises should be checked and recommendations made before license is granted.

  8. antionette sealy January 31, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Early last year I picked up my granddaughter from Grazettes Primary School and took a short cut from Long Gap to Fairfield where my mother lives , by driving through a development called Pillersdorf. To my horror I saw two of the largest dogs in the world, which looked liked St. Bernards on the loose in Pillersdorf chasing after an elderly bicyclist . I skilfully intercepted their chase with my car and the old man was able to escape. The owner, one Barry, took his time in retrieving them and I followed him to see where he lived. Yes, there is a wire fence on the property but I suspect that the dogs burrowed their way out under the fence and onto the street. I hope that Mr. Norville is reading and can respond to the following :- Why are dogs of this size not kept in kennels and taken for walks when the owners are at home? Secondly, is there a department of Government which visits the sites of owners when they apply for licences for dogs of this size?

  9. Tony Waterman February 1, 2017 at 3:02 am

    “Two days after five pit bulls attacked and killed 74-year-old Verona Gibson near her Monroe Road, Haggatt Hall, St Michael home, Veterinary Inspector at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Wayne Norville said better must be done to protect Barbadians from attacks by vicious dogs.”

    ALl the other reports that i have Read was adamant that only one of those Dogs was a Pit Bull, One was an Akita cross Bread, no ons has mentioned what the others were, so this Must be an “Alternative Fact”
    So Emmanuel!!! Can you enlighten us as to the Breeds of these Animals????


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