Regional

Harris bemoans farmers losing animals to thieves, dogs

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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MONTPELIER, St James – President of the St James Association of Branch Society (ABS) of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Glendon Harris, is lamenting the suffering being experienced by goat farmers who lose their animals to praedial larceny and the frequent predatory attacks mounted by dogs.

“Our animal farmers, particularly our goat farmers, are suffering. We import more than 85 per cent of the goat meat that we eat in Jamaica. And Jamaica is a place that every function that we have we want to have curry goat. But the farmers that are trying their utmost best to produce goats, when it is not the four-foot dogs affecting them, it is the two-foot puss,” Harris bemoaned.

He called on the authorities to ensure that “every goat meat that is sold across the island be properly accounted for, from the farm to the table”.

Harris, a former president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, was speaking at the Montpelier Agricultural Show held in Montpelier, St James, on Easter Monday.

During his address, Deputy Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture, Victor Wright, called for an amendment to the Praedial Larceny Act and a strengthening of the Praedial Larceny Unit, to protect livestock farmers.

“After having encouraged these farmers to come into our agricultural sector, after having allowed them access to proper financing and other resources to make their farms viable, we must now protect their interests in terms of giving them some breathing space from the praedial larcenists. One way of doing so, Minister (JC Hutchinson), is to bring the amendment to the Praedial Larceny Act and in addition, to ensure that the current Praedial Larceny Unit that we have is strengthened beyond the few officers that are assigned,” Wright advocated.

Meanwhile, Harris called on the Government to ensure “that something be done to get those dogs off the farmers' goats”.

“We want to ensure that the dogs that persons import into this country and they have let them loose… because there is no other country that is looking for the benefit of the farmers that allow dogs to roam the way they roam in Jamaica, particularly those dogs that are mixed with the Pitbull and that kind of thing,” he said.

— Horace Hines


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