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Jamaicans blasé about cruelty to animals

Published:Tuesday | January 12, 2016 | 1:00 AM
The skin of this Jamaican dog is exposed after hot water was allegedly thrown on her. Animal cruelty is a major issue of concern, writes Roger Williams.

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am an animal-rights activist from Jamaica who resides in the United States. I just got back from Jamaica from a short vacation, and I am disappointed in the maltreatment of stray dogs on the island.

The heartbroken picture that accompanies this article is a stark reality of the abuse some of my Jamaican people inflicted upon helpless and innocent animals, especially dogs. I have written to several influential leaders in the Jamaican government to get someone to address animal cruelty, without success. I have reached out to both major free-to-air television stations in Jamaica, but got no positive results.

It's obvious that animal cruelty is seen in Jamaica as inconsequential (even though there is a so-called animal cruelty law, which needs to be reinforced with stiffer penalties) by those with power and the majority of the Jamaican people. The dog in the attached picture was burned with hot boiling water by a Jamaican man in Manchester, I was told. A friend's dog was also poisoned in Kingston last week.

It's obvious that more animals will be mistreated by evil persons in Jamaica because leaders fail to address the issue and to educate the people about animal cruelty. I have been pleading for three years to the relevant persons in Jamaica to address the issue. I went as far as write to the Jamaican ambassador to the US in Washington and the Ministry of Tourism in Jamaica. Shame on those in the Jamaican media who ignored my emails.

This problem is bigger than the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Can someone with power please intervene? The animals need the help.

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it's animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

ROGER WILLIAMS

Animal-Rights Activist