More than 2 months since I last wrote anything on my blog! In the meantime,so many things have happened..Island Vet Clinic has moved to Candos; been out of the country for a while; seen a lot more cute pets with various problems; winter caught up with us; its been raining a lot and a few bridges have been crossed but not burnt... and other ones burnt without crossing them.
Anyways,upon public demand (lol!)...I am back on track with the Tale Tails.So what's worth sharing tonight? Did I hear "Dog Control Bill"? Well, yeah...this one made a "comeback" on the forefront again and the draft is on the Government portal for public review at:
How many of you, public people, knew about this and out of you lucky few well informed ones; how many of you reviewed it?
Well, I didn't have a clue about it until I was invited on that Committee to represent PAWS and advise...This draft went to State Law Office for review and is in it's final "fine-tuning" phase before submission to the Minister. I don't know if this is the usual way laws are drafted in Mauritius but...if this is so...then my fellow Mauritians...we are in deep poop!
Ministry Officials whose main concern is to rush and deliver a long overdue document; Division of Vet Services vets who, according to the draft are going to be the "Competent Authority"- the Umbrella organisation who will oversee all dog matters...but who are surprisingly "silent" in the meetings; the MSPCA who tries to monopolise all the prerogatives about dog registration, fines etc...; the Vet Council representative who tries to fight his own personal battle and then PAWS representatives. If anybody read that draft, please tell me that I am not crazy and over zealous when I find such statements of that draft utterly unfair and totally insane:
1- “owner”, in relation to any dog, means every person above the age of 18 years old who has a dog in his or her possession for more than 72 hours
So if I steal your dog and keep it in my possession for more than 72 hrs...its MINE! We managed to get this amended to "owner is the person in whose name the animal is registered"
2 - Under Importation of dogs, MSPCA proposed that German Shepherds be added to the list of restricted dogs...because there are reports of numerous dog bites ...in other countries!!
When queried on which basis the actual list was drawn, an uneasy mumbling session went on and it was clear that that was just based on what happens elsewhere and not on what happens here! Restrictions on importation of Mastiff-type dogs? And then what? Let the ones that are already on the island inbreed amongst themselves? Compulsory spay/neutering of the ones already here? Good luck with that one! Nobody seem to be thinking that the real problem is...lack of education of owners and the so called trainers on these breeds! Yes, restrict some breeds that have potential for danger but set in place a framework for their eventual clearance..WHEN MAURITIANS ARE READY TO RAISE AND CARE FOR SUCH BREEDS and when we have legal and solid control on their training and breeding.
3 - Dog owners and Dog breeders should ensure that the dog receives proper care and attention and is supplied with proper and sufficient food, water,shelter and exercise
PAWS had to argue for like 30 minutes to get the word medical/veterinary care included in this...I cannot understand how we can leave vague and subjective words like "proper"..."sufficient" in a legal document?
4 - Any person may, for the purpose of stopping an attack, seize or destroy a dog if:(a) the person is attacked by the dog; or(b) the person witnesses the dog attacking any other person.
Reallly?? ANY person? DESTROY? Is it only me? Or are you, like me, seeing this statement as a door to all sorts of abuse! Anybody can come and kill...ooops sorry...destroy your dog! With or without proof that your dog was dangerous. We managed to change that one too and get the word "destroy" removed and replaced by "euthanise"
5 - If your dog is seized or impounded and you do not come or are unable to claim it back, Competent Authority can SELL it.
How do you like that one huh?? How unethical is that one? After serious arguing ( and several cups of tea)this was removed too
6 - No person who is entitled under this Act to destroy any dog,and who does so in a reasonable manner or who wounds or maims the dog in the course of attempting to so destroy it, shall be under any criminal or civil liability for the injury done to the dog or its death
That's the best one of them all!! How on earth can this come from all the vets who help draft this bill? So you are immune to liability if you are to euthanise a dog but you end up wounding and torturing the animal to death? What world are we living in? I had to fight a lot to have this removed...Euthanasia? Well, either you do it professionally, with all respect to the animal or you DO NOT CALL YOURSELF A VET and go do something else!
There should be no f***ing immunity for incompetence!Especially, when animal lives are concerned!
Yes, all this is in that draft posted on the Min of AgroIndustry's portal for public review...I did not make all this up.
Everything seems so surreal, in all of the three final meetings I went to...serious issues was taken lightly, animal lives were "taken for granted" and disrespected, people were "choosing sides" to agree with; defending their own personal benefits and looking into pleasing (or attacking) so and so...I did not have the impression that we were discussing a Bill that was going to be enacted into law...that was supposed to stay valid for the years to come.
Dog Control Bill...when is the "Owners Control Bill" coming out? This one would surely solve all the problems at source...For Sure!