Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Animal advocate against proposed dolphin facility

Animal advocate, Patricia Headley, has come out against plans by the government here to set up a dolphin facility at Pigeon Island.

Headly, who is a member of the Saint Lucia Animal Protection Society (SLAPS),made it clear that she was not speaking on behalf of the organisation but merely voicing a personal opinion.

“Surely, there are other ways we can create jobs than capturing animals for tourists to come and look at,” she told the Times.

Headley referred to SeaWorld which she said she had visited on a few occasions.

“Those animals are also contained and a lot of them die. I hate it,” she told the Times.

Headley, who admitted to getting emotional when it came to the issue of animal protection, said she was not against job creation, but felt there was another way to generate employment.

According to her, the initiative to have dolphins at Pigeon Island would, instead of attracting visitors to Saint Lucia, actually drive them away.

“I can tell you, I look after the calls for SLAPS – that is my function. I am no longer able to work in the field. The calls I get from tourists about  the way our dogs are treated is bad enough – so this is not good for Saint Lucia. I don’t think it attracts tourists by any means,” the animal lover told the Times.

The  well known Devaux family in Saint Lucia recently wrote an open letter to Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, urging him to put a stop the proposed dolphin facility at Pigeon Island.

The proposal reportedly includes the construction of a restaurant, gift shop, and swimming pool on Pigeon Island.

The Devaux family said in the open letter that such commercial activity will do nothing to enhance the natural beauty or historic charm of the park.

“Pigeon Island National Landmark is part of Robert J. Devaux’s legacy and part of this nation’s heritage. As a National Landmark, it must be preserved and protected,” the letter declared.

It noted that what Robert Devaux envisioned for Pigeon Island was a green space steeped in history to be enjoyed by his children and their children and all Saint Lucians for generations to come.



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