A goat with an apparent passion for pumpkins and other crops, was impounded Thursday by the Pradedial Larceny Unit’s Southern Office, days after the Department of Agriculture announced that impounding stray animals would take effect from December 14.
The Supervisor of the Southern Unit told St Lucia Times that the goat damaged a quantity of pumpkins, hot peppers and other crops on a farm in Vieux Fort.
According to Dellan Emmanuel, such incidents have occurred frequently in the past but there was no designated pound where the animals could be taken.
Emmanuel said as a result, the animal would be returned to its owner, at times with no ensuing consequences.
“This time there’s a pound so animal owners have to be more careful about where they allow their animals to graze,” he observed.
Emmanuel warned that when the animals are found straying they will be impounded.
He noted that if the owner does not claim the animal within 21 days then it will be put up for auction.
He said even if the owner claims the animal before the 21 days elapse, a fine would have to be paid.
Emmanuel told St Lucia Times that a Pound Keeper cares for the impounded animal or animals.
“The animal owner will be at a loss because it’s not as if the animal would be returned to him or her as in the past,” he asserted.
Emmanuel explained that in the South, cows venturing onto the highway have become a big problem.
“We want these farmers to know that these animals can be impounded, so they really need to secure these animals.”
“If you have fifteen animals and all fifteen are coming onto the highway, then we are going to impound all fifteen so it means the fine you would have to pay will be an exorbitant amount,” the Praedial Larceny Unit official observed.
He said if the owner cannot pay the fine, which would vary depending on the time the animal stays in the pound, the animal would not be released.
Emmanuel told St Lucia Times that in cases where an animal damages property, the property owner may demand compensation which would have to be evaluated either through the courts, or by means of an out of court settlement.
The law also allows for a police officer in uniform to immobilise or shoot a stray animal.
Headline stock photo courtesy Tom Brunberg