Call for better care of livestock

Tuesday February 12, 2019 Written by Published in Local
The picture of a calf that reportedly strangled itself to death at Black Rock was posted on the Rarotonga Community and Beyond Facebook page last week. 19021120 The picture of a calf that reportedly strangled itself to death at Black Rock was posted on the Rarotonga Community and Beyond Facebook page last week. 19021120

The Cook Islands Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is appalled at the lack of attention some livestock owners are giving to their animals.

 

Last week a calf reportedly strangled itself to death in the Black Rock area after a long quest for water.

SPCA country manager Tony Jamieson said those owning livestock and household animals should always make the effort to look after them.

Jamieson said it was disheartening to see the lack of attention some people were giving to their livestock leading to incidents like the one last week.

“Animal welfare, be it livestock or household animals, is paramount and if you own one, please look after them well. We are here to support those who need help with their animals especially the household animals such as dogs,” Jamieson said.

“People who neglect their animal leading to painful deaths like the recent incident should be taken to task.”

Work started in 2015 on an Animal Welfare Act that could enforce harsher penalties on those who are cruel to animals in the Cook Islands. The Act is yet to be passed into law.

In 2016, lawyer Wilkie Rasmussen was reportedly drafting the Cook Islands Animal Welfare Act based on the New Zealand legislation on animal welfare.

Former SPCA caretaker Cameron Hall then told CI News that it was vital to carry out prosecutions of animal welfare offences so that people were aware of what standard of living animals required for them to be looked after properly.

“It’s not only about this, but it’s understanding what their diet should be and how and what you should feed your pets. At the SPCA we expect that pet owners will not cause any harm to their animals,” Hall then said.

“The Animal Welfare Act is something that we would like to see and get through and get finalised, sooner rather than later.”

Hall also said the SPCA was seeing a lot of welfare issues that they were powerless to do anything about because there was no legislation to back them up.

Meanwhile Ministry of Agriculture’s senior livestock officer Edwin Apera said they continually raise awareness on animal welfare when they visit livestock owners.

“When we go out for treatment of animals, we advise the farmers on basic things like giving their animals water on time and keeping them under shady places especially during hot days,” Apera said.

“The management of the animals is up to the farmers, we cannot tell them what to do or what not with their animals. They know very well how to maintain them.”

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