North Leeward farmers lose more than 100 animals in one month
Farmers in North Leeward have been battling the problem of loss of their livestock to dogs and thieves over the past months.
And, some have said that if nothing is done quickly, they will have to deal with the problems themselves.
The farmers spoke about their problem during a consultation on Tuesday, June 14 at the Troumaca Government School organised by the Ministry of Agriculture. Samuel, a farmer from Rose Hall told the Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar; chief agricultural officer, Renato Gumbs; and Parliamentary Representative, Carlos James, “We also have a problem in Rose Hall with dogs”.
He said, “If you take a trip to Rose Hall right now and you meet at least two or three animals, goats or sheep on the road tied up, you meet a lot. We have lost a lot. We lost over 150 sheep and goats over the last month, to dogs.”
The young farmer said as a result, he had taken his remaining goats to Rose Hall and tied the he-goat in his yard. “Someone came right in my yard and stole the ram goat,” Samuel said.
He told the gathering that, “going to the police station is just like a waste of time.”
Upon hearing this, some farmers who were standing in the balcony remarked that if nothing is done quickly, then they would have to handle the matter themselves.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Nigel Butcher acknowledged that they receive numerous reports about stolen animals and do their best to investigate the reports with the aim of arresting the perpetrators. He stated their concerns about the ongoing theft of livestock which is an island-wide problem that the police are facing.
He said further that the police at Chateaubelair have been taking a number of actions to try and curb this practice, but are hampered by limited manpower and the lack of intelligence information from the community.
The police officer told SEARCHLIGHT that he has also been a victim of praedial larceny; the thief removed his animal that was tied very close to his house.
Minister Caesar responding to the concerns of farmers at the consultation said, “…when I hear the complaints and issues raised about livestock, whether from the thief man standpoint, the praedial larceny, or is from the standpoint of the dogs, or the standpoint of the markets, or the standpoint of the deaths experienced because of La Soufriere, definitely we have to do something in North Leeward for the lives of farmers.”