Independent MLAs Alva Suckoo and Winston Connolly told Cayman 27 the country can no longer turn a blind eye to the issue of animal cruelty. They are considering two private members motions calling for tighter regulations, stiffer penalties, and new restrictions targeting backyard breeders.
Mr. Connolly and Mr. Suckoo said pictures showing some of the island’s more extreme cases of animal cruelty brought the issue to their attention.
“We really don’t want a society that sort of condones that sort of behavior and accepts that abuse of animals is acceptable,” said Mr. Suckoo.
“I think we need to be looking at those who commit those types of actions and stamp it out,” said Mr. Connolly.
Mr.Suckoo, along with Mr. Connolly, is considering bringing a pair of private members motions to the LA chamber regarding animal abuse, starting with a call for enforcement of our existing laws.
“People that do this sort of thing don’t really care about the consequences, a) because the laws haven’t been enforced properly, and b) they’re ignorant to what the law actually says,” pointed out Mr. Connolly.
“There are people are who, either unwillingly or deliberately abuse animals,” said Mr. Suckoo. “I’ve seen some people who pass themselves as dog trainers and animal breeders who are physically abusing animals.”
Both men agree stiffer enforcement, stronger penalties and education should go hand in hand.
“Once you enhance the level of education and the level of involvement with the community, I think you’ll have more people stepping up and saying you know, I know this is wrong now, I know you shouldn’t be doing this,” said Mr. Suckoo.
“If we allow this to happen, what does this say about us as a society,” said Mr. Connolly.
In December, a FOI inquiry revealed that out of more than 200 animal cruelty and neglect investigations in 2016, only one resulted in prosecution.