Friday, November 15, 2019

Jamaica Dog Bite Victim Wants Laws To Be Amended

Jamaica Observer:- A man who was attacked by a cross-breed German shepherd and later diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy is pleading with the Government to amend the Dog Liability for Injuries Act to impose stiffer penalties on owners of dogs that attack people.

Wesley Daley, who was attacked in January 2018, said he decided to add his voice to the discussion because of how frequent reports of dog attacks have become.

Peripheral neuropathy refers to the conditions that result when nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord from and to the rest of the body are damaged or diseased.

The 30-year-old man, who told the Jamaica Observer in an interview yesterday that he has spent close to $600,000 in medical bills without any changes to his condition, said it was heartbreaking to read about the lives lost or injuries to people stemming from dog attacks which go unabated.

“I am asking the Government of Jamaica, I am appealing to the Government of Jamaica; honourable Andrew Holness, prime minister of Jamaica, and the security minister [Dr Horace Chang] to address this. This is an epidemic. These dogs are allowed to bite up teachers, killing elderly and wounding people. People can’t go about their daily lives; and it is not happening only on the road, it is happening in homes as well. It is terrifying and traumatic,” Daley stated.

The 1877 Dog Liability for Injuries Act only addresses the civil liability of dog owners. According to the Act, “The owner of every dog shall be liable in damages for injury done to any person, or any cattle or sheep by his dog.”

Additionally, the Act says damages shall be recoverable in any court of competent jurisdiction by the person injured, or by the owner of such cattle or sheep killed or injured.

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  1. Every dog needs to have ID chip so the dog can be traced to the owner and all dog owners should also have to have a license to own a dog. This will help with traceability and weed out those people who are irresponsible dog owners. The government should also have an education program about responsible ownership and how to treat animals respectfully as a loved dog who is care for is unlikely to attack unless threatened. It would also be good if there could be a effort to neuter the homeless dogs too, which would cut down the amount of strays and suffering


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