Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon Roger Clarke, is among several speakers scheduled to make presentations at a special praedial larceny sensitisation seminar for Clerks of the Court, at the Braco Village Resort and Spain Trelawny on Saturday (July 21).
The seminar is being held as part of the government’s efforts to stem the incidence of praedial larceny, which poses a major threat to the agricultural sector, and which reportedly results in some $5 billion in losses annually.
Saturday’s seminar is expected to address matters pertaining to provision of the law as regards preparation, prosecution and adjudication of praedial larceny cases, and application for dealers/travellers licence, among other areas.
Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla; Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, Q.C; and Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, are also expected to attend.
Speaking at Thursday’s (July 19) annual general meeting of the Jamaica Red Poll Cattle Breeders Society, at West Indies Alumina Company’s (WINDALCO) farm at Grove Place, Manchester, Minister Clarke underscored the need to further heighten judicial stakeholders’ awareness of the magnitude of the prevailing situation, and the urgency with which it needs to be addressed.
In regard to the applicable legislation, Mr. Clarke said “some tweaking” is necessary, in order to make the stipulations more effective.
For butchering, the Minister underscored the need to have functional abattoirs in order to stem the incidence of illicit slaughtering of animals. “We must find ways and means that when people want to butcher animals, they don’t (just do it) behind their house, but rather, they go to somewhere that is authorised,” he said.
Under Jamaica law, praedial larceny attracts maximum fines ranging between $250,000 or three times the value of the item stolen, and/or incarceration of between three months and life imprisonment.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter