Poison, Politics and Protectionism = Unnecessary Suffering for Animals - Time for Change
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The Caribbean island of Nevis is a lush 36 square mile paradise for its human inhabitants, but for the thousands of animals who also share this tiny island, every day is a fight for survival.
Homeless, beaten, abused, starved, neglected - That is how countless companion animals will begin 2018 on the island of Nevis. Hundreds of dogs and cats will not make it through the year as they die from deliberate poisonings, neglect, abuse, hit by vehicles or simply starve to death. There is an overpopulation problem of dogs, cats, and feral donkeys. Workable solutions proposed by animal welfare organizations have been rejected by the Island Administration and Agricultural department and, to date, no humane alternative plans have been forthcoming.
UPDATE : April 30th 2018 Thanks in no small part to the pressure of almost 7000 petitioners and the desire of local people who wanted affordable spay neuter services, at last permission was granted for a 4 day mass free spay neuter campaign which was held on Nevis 6th to 9th April by Caribbean Spay Neuter's team of volunteer vets. 288 dogs were 'fixed'. It is a positive step in the right direction but this effort can only be effective in addressing overpopulation of pets in the long term if the island government support an ongoing low cost initiative. Opposition by the government employed vets must be overcome if the island wishes to maintain a manageable healthy population of cats and dogs
In 2014 and 2015 the NGO, CARE Nevis Animal Society; in collaboration with World Vets philanthropic teams, hosted free mass spay neuter clinics - 'fixing' 690 local pets in just 3 and 4 days. In 2016 and 2017 permission was denied to hold further mass spay clinics. As a result, today populations of stray animals are increasing exponentially. Deliberate poisonings are rising and animal protection laws are ignored. Hundreds of donkeys were slaughtered last May / June in an uncontrolled 'cull ' to reduce numbers. Animals are self aware, emotional, sentient beings. Respect for animals can be fostered through education, engendering a new respect for all lives.
Veterinary services for companion animals on Nevis are minimal. A project to create a new, low cost, affordable, specialist Pet Centre and clinic has been stonewalled for 3 years - despite the support of Nevisian pet owners. Buildings and equipment purchased for the Centre are warehoused, gathering dust. The lack of political will to embrace the change that is needed is causing much unnecessary suffering therefore we ask for dialogue, commitment and strategic action.
We request that the newly elected Island Administration led by the Hon. Mark Brantley - Premier of Nevis , open their hearts and minds to allow low cost, veterinary services to operate for the benefit of people and their pets. Offers to assist and address the overpopulation of homeless stray dogs, cats, and donkeys have been made, why ignore and reject them ?
Re-open discussions with the animal welfare groups and facilitate the necessary permits to establish ;
- The project for a specialist Pet Centre and clinic with a comprehensive low cost spay neuter program; including an annual international mass free spay campaign.
- Implement a programme to manage the feral donkey populations with a specialist team.
- Review and enforce animal protection laws and halt the poisoning of innocent animals
Mr Brantley, improving animal welfare will cost the island government nothing, but the benefits for animals, people - and goodwill generated; among Nevisians, visitors and animal lovers worldwide - is PRICELESS.
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