Stray dog controversy

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Animal chiefs are at loggerheads over the ongoing problem of stray dogs across Antigua and Barbuda.

Melissa Elliott, of the Dog Registration and Control Authority (DRCA), said on Wednesday that her officers were doing all they could to resolve the issue.

But President of the Humane Society, Karen Corbin, claims the DRCA has not been properly carrying out its functions as stipulated by law. Her comments followed a flea infestation apparently spread by roaming canines at Clare Hall Secondary School.

Corbin accused the organisation of not being focussed enough on what she considers the most important aspect of its work – registering and microchipping dogs above the age of six months.

“It’s extremely important because the whole purpose of the law is to register the dogs so that the owners of the dogs are held responsible for whatever their dogs do or don’t do, and if we can get everybody microchipped and registered and educate all of the dog owners to understand that their dog is not to be at large, the dog is to be always on your property or under your direct control, that in very short order would actually solve the problem.

“Then the only dogs we would see out there are true strays and they could be impounded and dealt with,” Corbin explained.

The Humane Society is responsible for drafting the Dogs Registry and Control Act 2006 and is mandated by law to be the registration agents for dogs and to maintain a national dog database. However, Corbin said they simply do not have the manpower to carry out door-to-door microchipping and so the onus is on the control authority or other appointed personnel under the Act.

Read more in the Daily OBSERVER.

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