Today’s Editorial: Animal abuse is wrong

Anyone who poisons an animal is a coward.

Too many dogs are being poisoned and it’s pretty obvious that the acts are deliberate.

It is understood that many people in the Cayman Islands are still suffering from the stresses following Hurricane Ivan, but even that is no excuse to harm innocent life.

True, it is annoying when dogs are allowed to roam the streets and get into other people’s yards.

Loose dogs can be and are even dangerous to walkers, cyclers and people in their own yards.

Fences are still down following Ivan and tensions are high.

But the fault is not that of the animals’; it’s of the owners.

It appears the most popular method of poisoning is the use of paraquat, a weed killer that farmers use.

Maybe it is time for the Cayman Islands to join other countries throughout the world and totally ban the substance. The Agriculture Department is to be commended for selling a weed killer that contains only a portion of paraquat and agents that make it less toxic.

But the poison is apparently still strong enough to do harm to dogs.

The Department of Agriculture takes that stance that the substance shouldn’t be banned, but that steps should be taken to eliminate the abuse.

The problem appears to be mainly in West Bay where more than poison is being used.

Someone took what is believed to be a machete to the face of a puppy in his own fenced yard in West Bay. The pup miraculously survived.

It is incumbent on pet owners to make sure that their dogs don’t become such a nuisance that neighbours, in frustration, turn to poison to eliminate the animals.

Neighbours who have problems with dogs should sit down and discuss the problem and work together to come up with a solution.

There is help via the Humane Society and a number of veterinarian clinics throughout the Cayman Islands.

This spate of poisoning of animals is not the first in the Cayman Islands. But neighbours working together can make sure it’s the last.