Under the whip! Parish council to seize animals if St Ann horseback-riding operators don't adhere to Pound Act
The St Ann Parish Council has moved to address the growing nuisance of stray animals along the main corridors in the parish, with a warning to horseback-riding operators that their animals will be impounded if found in breach of the Pound Act.
In a series of newspaper advertisements starting September 11, the council warned that: "With immediate effect, the tying of horses is prohibited along the public thoroughfares, with emphasis along the Northern Coastal Highway. Any horse found along the roadways after this date will be immediately impounded."
Alfred Graham, secretary/manager of the parish council, told The Gleaner that the issue came up as an agenda item during a council meeting, in the wake of at least two traffic crashes involving horses. The owners of the animals were summoned to meetings and served with individual notices to desist and advised of the council's action.
"These horses, sometimes the rope used to tie them is extended and they are able to go out on the actual carriageway, the road itself, resulting in danger to motorists. And sometimes they get loose and are on the road, again posing a danger to motorists," he explained.
"The council has seen the problem and decided to take action before it gets out of control," Graham told The Gleaner last Friday. "The council took the decision that something had to be done to improve safety along that stretch of the road, as a result of the danger posed by these horses, as well as other stray animals, including, but not limited, to cattle."
A few years ago, a policeman was injured in the parish when a service vehicle struck a cow. The crash happened near a farm and police identified the animal as being from the property, but the accused denied ownership of the animal or liability. To date, no one has been held accountable.
The council is using its powers under the Pound Act, which allows for impounding of stray animals, and has licensed an operator for the pound, which is located in the Clapham area of Moneague in the parish.