The Veterinary and Livestock Division of the Ministry of Agriculture has issued what it says is a final warning to livestock farmers in Saint Lucia that the division will impound stray animals under the 2005 Animal Act.
According to a Ministry of Agriculture release, the warning follows months of sensitisation and discussion with farmers on the hazard stray animals pose to road users.
But Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Sharmine Melville-Edwin told the Ministry’s Communications Unit that the problem remains.
“Cattle owners must take responsibility for their livestock. There has to be responsible ownership, especially in the absence of land ownership and barriers in terms of fencing,” she asserted.
Melville-Edwin said the Veterinary and Livestock Division understands the needs and challenges of the farmers, especially in the case of those who are not landowners.
“We understand the need for food security and sovereignty,” she explained.
As a result, she said the Livestock Division had discussed solutions to the stray cattle problem with the farmers.
Among the measures agreed on was tagging animals to identify the location and owner of the animal.
Farmers who allow their animals to stray can face a fine of five thousand dollars on summary conviction or imprisonment for two years or both.
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