Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit established
The Ministry of Agriculture has established a Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit to help combat the illicit activity.
The unit will be headed by Deputy Superintendent Kevin Francis.
Agriculture Minister, Derrick Kellier, said DSP France will be supported by Sergeant Damian Harry as Praedial Larceny Prevention Officer while Trudy-Ann Edwards will be the coordinator and an administrative assistant for the unit.
Speaking at the launch yesterday, Kellier said $7 million have been allocated to establish the Unit and to recruit additional staff.
He pointed out that it is estimated that praedial larceny costs the country $5 billion annually.
The agriculture minister said he is dedicated to arresting the problem and he expects, to bring Cabinet proposed amendments to the laws to crack down on praedial larceny within a month.
Among the proposed amendments are expanding the definition of Praedial Larceny to cover the larceny of livestock, including fish, increasing fines for breaches under the Agricultural Produce Act and the Praedial Larceny Prevention Act, and simplifying the procedures for registering and licensing all handlers of agricultural produce.
Meanwhile, the agriculture minister said the National Animal Identification and Traceability System is proceeding apace, and disclosed that the finance ministry has allocated $16 million to carry out that programme.
Kellier said the initiative will help in the fight against praedial larceny.