$1.3m for strays

GOVERNMENT has announced plans to build two animal pounds in Rakiraki. This will be funded by a $1.3 million allocation to address the issue of stray animals.

This was revealed by Assistant Agriculture Minister Viam Pillay in Ra during a tour of the Western Division last week.

“We at the ministry are very serious about this issue and we will make sure that the problem of stray animals is addressed soon,” he said in a statement.

Mr Pillay said the Ministry of Agriculture had been allocated about $1.3m specifically for the control of stray animals and this would be used to equip the ministry with more resources such as trucks and other vehicles and hiring of personnel for the required work.

“More animal pounds are expected to be constructed around the major livestock farming communities and I assure farmers in Rakiraki that two animal pounds have been planned to be constructed in the province.”

Stray animals have been a menace in the Western Division with numerous reports of cattle invasion into sugarcane farms during extremely dry weather.

While losses to the sugar industry have yet to be ascertained, there are suggestions that livestock invasion on to farms and the subsequent crop damage will be significant.

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