Bay Street pig pens unauthorised, put up behind state agencies’ backs

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The heads of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Livestock Division and the Central Board of Health (CBH) have both objected to the idea of erecting pig pens in residential areas – as was done on Bay Street Villa this week.
Furthermore, the newly placed pens, which have upset some residents of Bay Street, were apparently erected without the approval or even the knowledge of the Livestock Division, the CBH, or the Development Control Authority (DCA).
Yesterday, Chief Veterinary Officer and head of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Livestock Division, Dr Tubal Edwards told OBSERVER media that anyone who wishes to erect a pen must first seek the approval of the Division and often the permission of the CBH.
“To my knowledge, nothing has come to the office as yet … Once they want to put up pens or they want to become a livestock farmer we would actually have to go and see the area where the pens are being erected,” Dr Edwards said.
When asked, he added that placing pens in a residential area “is not normal practice”. This was the same verdict offered by the Chief Health Inspector, Lionel Michael.
Michael told OBSERVER media, yesterday, that “Pig pens should not be in a residential area. People don’t pay much attention to them and cleaning them. Therefore, as far as is practicable, I would discourage them in residential areas.”
Michael said he had “not seen anything from the DCA” regarding the pens and claims that the DCA is often the agency to present plans for certain pens to the CBH after being consulted by the Livestock Division.
However, the head of the DCA – Chief Town & Country Planner Frederick Southwell – is claiming that plans for pens do not usually make their way to the department’s desk. He pointed to the Livestock Division and the CBH as the principal agencies.
“Somebody putting up some boards and knocking up some posts to keep some pigs – it wouldn’t come to us,” Southwell said. He admitted that the DCA would get involved if the structure to be erected was large or physically impactful enough to warrant the agency’s involvement.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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