MORE DEATHS DUE TO STRAY ANIMALS – by Francis Quamina Farrier
Three Guyanese who today, should have been alive and well, and continuing to make their contributions to this our Native Land Guyana, in this Jubilee Year, are now DEAD; recent victims of three separate Traffic Crashes just a few days apart. DEAD are Deodat Singh, Richard Rammarace and Ramesh Singh. The similarity of their untimely demise, is that all three lost their lives on the Corentyne Coast Public Road, while in vehicles which crashed into stray horses.
The problem of stray animals roaming unfettered on public streets and roads all across Guyana, has been around in this country for many years, and it seems not to be addressed in a permanent way, by those in charge of public roadways. Many human lives have been lost in Traffic Crashes brought about by stray animals, and to the best of my knowledge, not a single owner of the offending animals, has been made to face the consequence of the death of someone, due to the carelessness they have displayed in the control of their animals.
While no Fatal Traffic Crash involving stray animals has been recorded in the city of Georgetown for this Jubilee Year so far, that could very well happen at anytime. There might be someone who, right now is alive and well, and making their contributions to our country, who could be DEAD before the end of the year, due to an unfortunate Traffic Crash caused by a stray animal, wandering on our roads. There continues to be a number of stray horses and donkeys roaming all over the city of Georgetown. In some cases, on Main Street in the area of the Official Residences of the President of Guyana and the Prime Minister.
The Officers attached to the Stray Catchers Unit of the Ministry of Public Security, have been out and about rounding up strays, but their efforts seem to be failing, as the strays continue to be roaming all around us, including in our Capital City. The sub-culture of stray animals on our public streets and roads will not go away anytime soon, according to one Official. It is like a political yo-yo! The Political Parties seem to play ‘yo-yo’ with the issue, because they are apparently sympathetic with the owners of the offending animals, and are certainly threatening them with kit gloves. The politicians know that the cattle owners and their family members and friends have the votes to make a difference, and so some politicians continue to go soft on this issue, even as more innocent road users continue to lose their lives.
The owners of stray cows, in particular, boldly express the fact that with the expanding housing developments all around, especially at areas which were once grazing pastures, that those housing developments have “killed off de grazing.” Meanwhile, however, the stray animals on our roads are in fact, “Killing off many innocent Road users.” Families are devastated with the loss of their loved ones; and in some cases, the Breadwinner.
The owners of the stray animals flex their moral muscles, claiming that they have to make an honest living, and rearing cattle is all that they know. Leaving the animals to roam here, there and everywhere to graze, is just a part of that operation. This is something which needs the POLITICAL WILL of those now in power, as well as those who used to be in power, to come together and SOLVE. There is the urgent need to solve this very deadly problem of stray animals on our roads and streets. IT IS TIME.