$1m to tackle stray animal woe

GOVERNMENT has allocated $1.37 million in the 2017-2018 National Budget to address the stray animal issue across the country.

This was the revealed by Agriculture Minister Inia Seruiratu in Parliament this week.

He said the seriousness of the stray animal issue could be measured by the increase of more than $1.3m over previous allocations which normally hovered around $60,000.

He was responding to a query from the Opposition on the plans Government had implemented to control animals from straying on to the Kings and Queens roads on Viti Levu.

Mr Seruiratu said Government’s stray animal campaign was not restricted to the Queens and Kings highways.

“It is a campaign throughout Fiji,” he said.

“Apart from natural calamities ? we have disasters, cyclones, El-Nino, floods, of course pests and diseases and market constraints, but the two that are really worrying us the most is on criminal activities and the other one is stray animals.”

He said stray animals were governed under two main Acts, the Pounds Act of Cap. 165 and the Trespass of Animals Act.

“The unfortunate thing is, when our communities do not look after the animals, this is when the Acts that I have stated come into play.

“We have to enforce it because complaints are not only coming from our farming communities, but also in the tikina and provincial council meetings as well.”