Beware of dog poop
Increased complaints from tourists have forced a call for more attention to be paid to dogs on the beach.
Animal Control officer Curtis Thompson said dog stool on beaches had reached a stage where prohibiting people from taking dogs to the seaside may not be too far off.
Speaking to the WEEKEND NATION at the open day at the unit to mark the first World Animal Day in Barbados yesterday, Thompson said the country could not wait for something serious to happen.
He said the department was getting nowhere with the Scoop The Poop programme, and he felt it needed to be legislated and enforced in a similar way that the seat belt law was enforced.
In addition to the unsanitary element, Thompson said the cutaneous larvae migrans, or beach worm, caused major health problems.
“Every time you and your family go to the beach for recreation, the potential for you and your family coming down with cutaneous larvae migrans is high. The probability is real high,” he said.
Thompson said the unit had reached out to beach rangers and sensitized them to the danger of the beach worm. He said the difficulty was that the rangers were not on 24-hour watch, and police patrols were only done at intervals.
“From a public health standpoint, prevention is the key. Do not wait until something happens. We have to be proactive,” he urged.
Thompson reiterated the need for animal control to be placed “on a higher priority scale if we are to go forward”.
“Animals, from a public health standpoint, can wreak havoc on a tourism destination like this. Animal control cannot be seen any longer in a small way,” Thompson warned.
The unit had an open day and partnered with Roberts Manufacturing and Agro Products, which mounted product displays.
He said about 50 people passed through during the day. It was geared to animal owners and lovers and humane societies.
Unit staff also distributed literature and some vets were on hand to answer questions.
Members of the public went away with dogs from the kennels and six more remain. Four are being kept temporarily for owners who are building proper accommodations while the unit is looking for homes for two.