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HomeNewsLocal NewsVicious Dog attack in Nevis leaves man wounded

Vicious Dog attack in Nevis leaves man wounded

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by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Popular Blogger from St. Kitts and Nevis, residing in the United States, Everton “Obi” Powell, called on Attorney General Garth Wilkin to make the necessary legislative amendments to the Dogs (Licensing and Control) Act.

 

On his social media platform (Facebook), Obi expressed, “Ban All Pitbulls and dangerous dogs in SKN! AG Garth Wilkin, you said you were going to do something about this!”

 

Obi made reference to a story by one of his followers describing a vicious dog attack which left one man wounded.

 

WINN FM contacted Inspector Alanzo Carty – Head of the Nevis Division of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, on the matter. He confirmed that a gentleman was doing his morning walk in Newcastle at about 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, September 07, when he was attacked by two dogs. The man was severely bitten on the leg and was hospitalised. Police caught one of the dogs and put it to sleep. Inspector Carty said the dog was a mixed breed- pitbull and dump pan and its owner has also been identified. As to the other dog, its whereabouts are yet to be known.

 

WINN FM recalls a similar incident involving Gospel recording artiste Mrs. Carmella Lawrence in August 2021, who also experienced a multi-dog attack while taking one of her usual walks.

 

Another incident, the tragic death of a toddler following a vicious dog attack in Nevis in October 2022, sparked significant public discourse. AG Wilkin took to social media his commitment to review the Dogs (Licensing and Control) Act to see if any amendments would be necessary.

 

“I assure you that the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs will engage with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Police to determine whether the Act needs to be strengthened to help to prevent such a tragedy [from] occurring again. That is our promise,” said Wilkin.

 

Having been alerted about the most recent dog attack, AG Wilkin responded, “I am very sorry to hear about another dog attack in Nevis and wish the gentleman a speedy recovery. Late last year, I met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Police Force. We discussed the 2007 Dogs (Licencing & Control) Act and agreed it was strong but may need some adjustments related to dog licensing, microchipping [and] the dangerous dogs listing.
The problem, therefore, is enforcement of that Act. When we met, we decided that because there are many responsible dog owners, a public consultation was needed first to propose amendments to strengthen the already strong law.

 

AG Wilkin added, “When I publicly advocated to strengthen the law, I got cursed and called all kinds of evil by dog owners (which doesn’t bother me). This is a serious societal issue where people’s lives are at risk. The neighbours who know that persons are harbouring dangerous dogs in breach of the Act should report it to the police. The owners of dangerous dogs should act responsibly and not train them to fight. This needs to be our duty as responsible members of society. In the interim, I will follow up with the progress of the Ministry re consultations and ensure that we move to implement the microchipping and refining the dangerous dogs list, as is being done now in the UK.”

 

According to the Dog (Licensing and Control) Act

3. (1) Subject to paragraph (a) of section 4(3), any person who is the owner of a dog that is four months old or over, shall make an application to a licensing officer in such form as the Minister approves for a licence to keep that dog.

12. (1) A person who owns or keeps a dog shall keep that dog properly secured on the person’s private premises so as to prevent the escape of the dog into any public area or onto the property of another person. (2) “A person who contravenes subsection (1), commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month, or both.

15. (1) If a dog injures a person, the owner or keeper commits an offence and is liable on indictment to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years. (2) Where a dog kills a person or causes the death of a person, the owner or keeper of the dog commits an offence and is liable on indictment to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. (3) It shall be a defence to a charge under this section if the dog owner is able to show that he was not reckless as to the manner in which the dog was secured or the danger posed by the animal, but the onus shall be on the owner to prove that fact.

17. (1) A dog that mauls or kills a person while not defending another person or the property of its owner shall be euthanised..if a person or the animals belonging to a person have suffered injury or been killed by a dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable in damages notwithstanding any criminal fine that may have been charged upon conviction against the owner.

20. (1) A person who owns a dangerous dog shall ensure that the premises on which that dog is kept is adequately secured by a wall or fence of a suitable height and that such wall or fence is so constructed and maintained as to prevent the escape of the dog.

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