Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he will be lobbying Parliament’s support to strengthen legislation to safeguard the public against attacks by aggressive dogs.
This, he says, includes measures to hold owners accountable for “the senseless attacks we have been seeing (in recent times)”.
Mr. Shaw said while the governing laws, outlined in the Dogs Liability for Injury Act, 1877, fall under the purview of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, he will be working closely with Portfolio Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, to address the matter.
He was speaking with journalists after addressing the opening ceremony for the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation’s (IAAC) 23rd Annual General Assembly at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James.
Mr. Shaw said he is particularly concerned about reports of injuries and deaths resulting from dogs brutally attacking young children and the elderly, and emphasised that this can no longer be tolerated.
“I want to say to all owners of dogs… please take responsibility for your animals. It is dangerous and irresponsible for any owner to allow these dangerous dogs to be loose. This is just simply unacceptable,” the Minister emphasised.
Mr. Shaw maintained that “a number of attacks could have easily been prevented, if the owners of these aggressive animals [had] taken the time… to do what is right”.