I saw in a recent issue of “The Nation” newspaper that a man from the parish of St. Joseph was warned of intended prosecution over the killing of a dog. One dog was allegedly killed by the man, Jeffrey Clarke of Cambridge, and another dog seriously injured.

The man would be charged under the Prevention Of  Cruelty to Animals Act. This Act is dated August 28, 2000 and covers the following:

  • Any person who wantonly and cruelly beats, ill-treats,
    starves, over-drives, over-loads, abuses, tortures, infuriates, teases,
    terrifies or causes unnecessary mutilation or suffering to, or otherwise
    maltreats or causes or procures to be cruelly beaten, ill-treated, starved,
    over-driven, over-loaded, abused, tortured or otherwise maltreated,
    any animal or who permits any animal to be infuriated, teased,
    terrified, or caused any unnecessary suffering commits an offence and
    is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $1 000 in respect of each
    animal mentioned in the charge or to imprisonment for a term of
    12 months or both.

    Where a person is convicted under subsection (1), the court
    may also disqualify that person from having custody of any domestic
    and captive animal or any animal of a specific kind, and may in its
    discretion order that the animal be forfeited and disposed of in a
    manner ordered by the court.

    The Act covers:

      Ill treating animals

      Operations on animals

      Causing unnecessary suffering to animals

      Bull baiting, cock fighting, dog fighting etc.

      Working animals unfit for work

      Compensation for beating or causing damage to animals

      Impounded animals to be properly fed

      Using condemned animals

      Torturing animals required for food

    So it can be said that there is legal protection in Barbados against inhumane treatment of animals.

    But the problem is, who is going to “police” the Act?

    Acts against animals can be reported to the B’dos. Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or to the Police but whether staffing exists to fully and efficiently investigate all reports would be a reasonable question to come from any of us living in Barbados.

    A lot of Barbados laws and regulations are not readily available to people unless they know where to look.

    There is no law passed in Parliament as far as I know that will prohibit the entry of dogs from certain countries entering Barbados.  The island, however, has strict regulations in place. For a dog to enter Barbados, it must have an Import  Permit from our Government’s Veterinary Department and an Export Permit should be issued from its place of origin where the dog should have undergone health checks. A Barbados Government vet has to be at the airport to examine the dog entering Barbados and also to check all of the relevant documentation.  I believe the airlines would be aware of this and so any person trying to ship a dog to Barbados, would be advised that if it does not have the necessary documentation the island requires, the dog would be put back on the plane and denied entry. Different conditions will apply depending on which part of the world the dog is coming from before entering Barbados. Most of our dogs enter from the UK, but other dogs may enter with a Pet Passport from other parts of the world. And, some do enter, after coming out of quarantine in the UK.

    And, yes, dogs are required to be licensed by The Animal Control Unit and also dog owners/walkers are required to clean up if their pets’ poop in public places.

    All over the world there are lots of new dog control legislation coming, and this might include the number of dogs a person can keep,  and might also spell out spaying/neutering and breeding requirements and controls.

    And, of course, there is the Dangerous Dogs’ Act in the UK.  Although Barbados does have a list of breeds that will be prohibited from entering Barbados, there is no Dangerous Dog Act yet passed here.

    Barbados does not have laws governing the number of dogs a person can keep although persons living in certain parts of the island should note that just as there are restrictive building requirements as to their fences, these areas might also carry restrictions pertaining to dog ownership.

    And the local Kennel Club also has restrictions pertaining to the registration of pedigree dogs.

  • The entry of dogs entering the island is strictly monitored but some of the other areas might not be.

    For instance, lots of dog owners do not pay for a dog licence and of course, the Animal Control Unit does not have the staff to check every household to monitor the payments. Having a dog licence is certainly useful if your dog bites someone or your dog gets lost/stolen but I know this area is generally ignored by dog owners.

    Not me, though, I pay mine and if I can pay for a three year term or a five year term, I take that option. 🙂


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