Fri | Nov 15, 2019

Alarm as stray dogs mauling livestock

Published:Saturday | November 9, 2019 | 12:21 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

St Elizabeth-based farmer Shawn Taylor was shocked in November 2018 when he turned up to his farm one Wednesday morning to discover that three of his goats had been killed by dogs.

The 50-year-old, who is also a fisherman, told The Gleaner yesterday that he went on a routine visit of his farm on the day in question when he made the unfortunate discovery.

“When I reached [the farm], I see the crows. I see crows flying and say, ‘Wonder what happen?’ When I go, I find out that it was one of the big mother with two kids die. Dog kill them,” said Taylor, who lives approximately 15 minutes away from the farm.

Lost 32 of 33 goats

Although he did not see the dogs himself, he concluded that they were the culprits on closer inspection of the dead goats.

“I see where the goat had a punch on him neck, and although the crows start to eat him, when the dog bite the goat round him neck, it leave the ‘wetty-wetty’ impression. The hair them stick to each other when him hold him round him neck and suck the blood from it,” said Taylor, who has been a farmer for over 25 years.

Since that fateful November day, his farm has been repeatedly invaded by dogs, which have killed 32 of his 33 goats and 75 chickens.

Taylor is just one of many goat farmers across Jamaica whose livelihoods have been threatened by constant attacks on their livestock by dogs.

Lenworth Fulton, president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), has expressed concern about the problem, which he said has been on the agricultural lobby group’s radar for decades.

“The report is with goats and even cow calves. They (dogs) would come in and kill a hundred goats one night, just suck the blood, kill them, and that is the threat that we suffer, a significant threat from dogs. We don’t know whose dogs; they are stray dogs,” said Fulton, adding that they get around 10 to 15 reports on average monthly.

“We hardly have a remedy than to say to the farmers, drive the goats into a secure pen, and you know that’s hard for some farmers that are ageing and that sort of thing, so it’s a serious problem that we are seeking solutions,” the JAS boss said.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com