Online poll: Most people questioned want herbicide paraquat banned

A large majority of respondents to last week’s online poll want the herbicide paraquat banned entirely from the Cayman Islands and a large percentage of those who would allow its use want to see its sale regulated. 

Paraquat has been in the news a lot during the past few years in the Cayman Islands because it is being used to poison dogs. 

Of the 606 total online poll respondents, 445 of them – 73.4 per cent – said paraquat should be banned entirely. 

“I have lost two of the gentlest dogs to this poison and these dogs were never off their leads and could’ve been approached by anyone,” said one person.  

“I am not vindictive, but whoever is doing this needs to suffer the same fate they have inflicted on what is essentially a member of a person’s family.” 

“The fact this question needs answering is staggering,” commented 
someone else.  

“It’s banned in the EU and regulated in the US, but here in Cayman, any moron can buy it to poison dogs, cats and who knows what else,” said another person. “If Cayman wants to pretend it’s a modern, Western society, it should act like one.” 

“It should be a criminal offence to be in possession after some amnesty period,” said one respondent.  

“This kills people, too,” noted someone else. “Get rid of it, and if not for any other reason, to improve the [environment] of these beautiful islands. Paraquat must go.” 

“Please ban paraquat for the sake of the innocent who cannot speak,” said someone else. 

Another 105 respondents – 17.3 per cent – said paraquat should only be available to licensed farmers; thirty people – 5.0 per cent – thought it should be available to any adult, but a list kept of importers and purchasers; twenty-one people – 3.5 per cent – thought paraquat should be available to any adult without restrictions. None of the people in these groups left comments. 

Five people – 0.8 per cent – responded ‘other’ to the question. 

“If people who own dogs would keep them properly there wouldn’t be a need for others to take matters into their own hands,” said one person.  

“We need all chemicals to be regulated in this country,” said someone else. “At the moment, there is no guarantee that any local produce we purchase has not been sprayed with dangerous pesticides.” 

“Come on guys, there are a lot of burning issues other than these questions that should be left in a social chat while enjoying a drink or coffee outdoors,” said another person. “Example, are we better served by political parties? Do we need a press complaints board? Just a thought.” 

Next week’s poll question 

For which Caymanian students should the government fund university/college scholarships? 

For anyone who wants one 

For anyone who meets a defined high academic standard 

For those whose families earn less than a certain amount 

Government should only provide/guarantee student loans to those who qualify under specified family income levels and academic standards 

Other (write in comments)