Visitor reports of inhuman treatment

St. John’s Antigua: Members of the Dogs and Cats Association of Antigua and Barbuda today (Tues) met with Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy the Hon. Asot A. Michael with the hope of charting the way forward for increased vigilance with regards to the better treatment of animals in the twin island tourist destination.

The association, which is a humane society is concerned with the welfare of animals and has brought to Minister Michael’s attention several posts on their official face book page concerning reports from visitors to the island regarding incidents of animal cruelty.

Such reports via social media have the potential of negating the hard work done so far by the Ministry to improve the image of the destination and as such we have to do all in our power to curb these incidents.

The Ministry of Tourism is therefore spearheading an initiative to host a meeting of key stakeholders as early as next week inclusive of the Police, The Ministry of Agriculture, Tourism, The Dog Control Unit, The Humane Society and the Dog and Cats Association of Antigua and Barbuda to formulate a plan of action.

This plan of action will be centered around sensitizing the Antiguan public on the potential ramifications of such inhumane actions against animals to the tourism industry as well as to increase the drive towards enforcing the law that currently exists on the books or re-visiting such law to meet modern day standards.

Upon concluding the meeting Minister Michael reiterated “It is imperative that all residents of Antigua and Barbuda are aware of the extent of this problem; that we join forces to eradicate and report any such incidence of animal cruelty; and that the full weight of the justice system is brought to bear on any offender to make sure such reports become a thing of the past.”