DoA clarifies changes to banned dog list
Changes to the banned dogs list bring Cayman into line with the international norm while still protecting the public from dangerous animals and outlawing breeds associated with dog-fighting, according to the Department of Agriculture.
The ban has been lifted on Rottweilers, some Mastiff breeds, Chinese Shar-Peis and Malinois, which were already used as police dogs under an exemption to the legislation, according to Brian Crichlow, director of the Department of Agriculture.
However American Bulldogs, American Staffordshire Terrier and Catahoula Leopard Dogs are still outlawed, despite not being specifically named in the amended legislation.
An earlier article in the Caymanian Compass this week had suggested that those three breeds would now be legal because of changes to the regulations attached to the Animals Law, authorized by Cabinet.
However, Mr. Crichlow clarified on Thursday, that although specific reference to those breeds was removed from the legislation, they remain on a much more detailed list kept by his department and available to the public on request.
The law specifies four broad headings of banned dogs – Pit Bulls and their breed types, Dogo Argentino and its breed types, Fila Brazileiro and its breed types, and Japanese Tosa and its breed types. The heading “breed types” covers a much wider range of animals which are specified precisely on the longer list.
The law also outlaws dogs bred primarily for fighting without specifying the exact breeds. Again, the specific dogs that are outlawed are kept on the longer list at the DoA.
Anyone thinking of bringing an animal into the Cayman Islands is advised to consult the Department of Agriculture first as the list changes periodically. The current full list is available by contacting the department on 947-3090 or [email protected]
Mr. Crichlow said the changes to the regulations were consistent with internationally accepted dog control and importation policies.
“The four breeds and their breed types that are specifically referenced represent the ‘big four’ breeds which are universally recognized and regulated as dangerous dogs, where these regulations relate to ownership, control and importation.
“However, it is also recognized that there is a varied and often changing group of breeds that are bred and used for dog fighting and that these dogs also represent a real concern for public safety and safety to other animals. Hence the inclusion in the revised regulation of Section 2 (e) which is designed to address these breeds of dogs,” he said.
All the dogs on the comprehensive list, held by the department, were already banned.
Mr. Crichlow added, “Based on this amendment, there are some breeds that are no longer on the prohibited list, most notably the Malinois, Rottweiler, Chinese Shar-Pei and some Mastiff breeds like the Neapolitan Mastiff.”
He added that anyone seeking to import any breed of dog or cat to the Cayman Islands should first contact the department to check what conditions were attached.
“Import conditions relate not only to the types of animals that can be imported but also and very importantly to the health requirements that must be met to prevent the introduction of animal diseases and pests into the Cayman Islands,” he said.
Mr. Crichlow said a comprehensive review of the Animals Law was under way and changes to the legislation – which, unlike changes to the regulations, would require approval from the Legislative Assembly – could be on the horizon.
“These revisions are designed to address and improve a range of areas, including dog control, licensing, regulation of animal facilities and, most importantly, the mechanisms for enforcement which would allow for more efficient, effective and timely enforcement of the law and its associated regulations,” he said.