News

Pig update: Officials awaiting inspectors report

by: Lededra Marche, News Editor

The Department of Agriculture is reportedly awaiting the reports of the inspector and veterinarian out of the capital who flew over to look into conditions at a makeshift farm in East Grand Bahama.

Last month, the Humane Society of Grand Bahama (HSGB) sounded the alarm over the inhumane conditions in which nine pigs and more than 50 goats were being subjected to, The goats were observed roaming wild on the property and the pigs were encaged, when The Freeport News team arrived on the scene.

A number of pigs appeared to be badly malnourished.

HSG Managing Director Elizabeth 'Tip' Burrows guided our newsteam onto the property, which appeared to be a construction/dump site in the middle of a pine tree forest.

A tourist exploring a number of the track roads in the area stumbled on to the site and alerted Burrows who then alerted police and Agriculture officials.

However, frustrated over the entire process, Burrows, who has made contact with Minister of Agriculture V. Alfred Gray and the veterinarian via email, said ascertaining what has been done, if anything, has been difficult.

The animal lover revealed that she had sent a report and request 10 days after the initial complaint was made and has been told it would take two to three weeks to get a reply.

" We brought a legitimate complaint and having it address if it is, is very frustrating,"  she said, while questioning who is following up on the situation and how often.

Burrows added that their initial complaint was on the basis of animal cruelty, not whether the farm is acceptable and believes that while she is waiting for a reply, the matter is not being properly addressed.

" I didn't think that the pigs, especially those that were in the pen, looked healthy and cared for. I thought it was a horrendous case of animal cruelty,"  she said.

In fact, Burrows believes the pigs should have been removed and all of the animals should have been in cages and cared for properly.

" This is another reason why The Bahamas needs a Freedom of Information Act. I think that there are certain things that affect the public that the public has a right to know about,"  she said.

According to Agriculture officials, the situation is being monitored.

Melanie Williams, officer in charge of the Department of Agriculture, informed The Freeport News yesterday she was waiting on a report from inspectors in New Providence and that an inspector goes out to check on the property once a week.

The Freeport News has also learned that Agriculture officials have been in contact with the owner and he has been advised to bring the grounds up to better standards.

Free Thinker posted on: Monday, September 30, 2013 11:58 AM

Title:

In response to Mr. Gibson: The Bahamas has fought a long battle on drugs. Drug dealing was more rampant in the Bahamas during the 1980s than it is today. The Bahamas law officials worked with US law officials in combating this problem thus reducing the drug trafficking numbers. Now, Mr. Gibson, It's obvious my statement in regards to the words "maybe" and "drug dealing" rubbed you the wrong way. You have to witness something in order to give factual information. I did not rule out the possibility of drug dealing going on in this country. No, let me be exact because you people believe Nassau is "The Bahamas" : AGAIN, I LIVE ON GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND, NOT NASSAU. I used the word "maybe" which give room to that possibility. This week was the first time I've seen, in the news, in regards to GRAND BAHAMA, persons charged with drug dealing or possession of dangerous drugs this year thus far. In Exuma $2.3 million worth of marijuana was confiscated and the culprits were arrested. But then again, it's another island and not Grand Bahama. Further, I've never said this is a paradise. Like everywhere else there are criminal acts. AGAIN I live in Grand Bahama not Nassau. So this every day murder, drug dealing, rape and God knows what else you claim you see in the news in regards to Grand Bahama is pure BS. I wonder what world you live because it's obvious you don't live on this island.

Mr. Gibson posted on: Saturday, September 28, 2013 5:14 PM

Title:

This is a reply to Free Thinker. You must be a Bahamian travel agent, because you are trying to con the people reading your stupid comments. You say "MAYBE" there is drug dealing going on !? You are either a liar, or plan stupid and blind! I read the same newspapers you read, and watch the same T.V. news you watch, where the hell are you living that is so wonderful? Just another jackass trying to sell this Shithole as a Paradise!

Free Thinker posted on: Monday, September 23, 2013 1:18 PM

Title:

In response to Tourist to never return to the Bahamas: My god has a Bahamian I hate when tourist and/or outsiders are misinformed. However, I will excuse you for your ignorance and I will take this opportunity to educate you on a few things. The Bahamas consists of 700 islands and keys. However, only 30 islands are inhabitant. The Government of the Bahamas, to my disgust, promotes Nassau as the Bahamas. We have over 300,000 people living in the Bahamas and most of the populations live in Nassau, Bahamas, which is the Capital. In order to travel from one island to the next, including Nassau, one has to take a plane or ride a boat. On each island, the people have different believe and moral code. My island, Grand Bahama, which consists of 50,000 people, has its share of crime. However, this year, we only recorded 3 murders. Every home that has been invaded or businesses where robberies had occurred, which by the way is not frequent, the criminals have been caught. And most of these robberies occurred in the low-income areas. There were no rapes reported this year on this island. The beaches are clean here, because there is a mandatory penalty if garbage is not discarded properly. As for drug dealing, maybe it is going on, but I've yet to hear of it this year. I don't recall any one being arrested due to drug dealing this year. With the exception of Nassau, no other island has recorded any murders and there were limited criminal activities. Nassau, the capital, has close to 200,000 people living on that island and with that huge amount of people leaving on such a small island, and with the believe system being different from others on different islands, what do you expect? Now, you spoke about the abuse of animals. You are correct. There are a lot of people here who have no regard for animals. They value human life more than an animal life. You do find persons that abuse their animals and it is sad. I'm not an animal lover but I am appalled by animal abuse. Why make an effort to get a pet, then turn around and abuse it? It does not make sense to me. Nevertheless, I hope those animal advocates continue to fight for better animal treatment and they continue to report to the authorities any animal abuse they witness. You said you are a tourist never to return. It's unfortunate you feel that way but I do wish you the best of luck and I hope where ever you are, you live in a crime free environment, unlike the rest us, the world populace.

Tourist- never to return to the Bahamas again. posted on: Saturday, September 21, 2013 3:46 PM

Title:

Bahamians could care less about humans let alone animals. It has been reported by so many tourist the abuse of horses and pets to the Bahamian Government, but nothing is ever done. High crime, drug dealing, stealing, murdering, raping, littered beaches, littered everything, and abuse of humans and animals is what The Bahamas has to offer a tourist. And the Government and it's people wonder why their economy is suffering?

Lynn Armstrong posted on: Thursday, September 19, 2013 10:10 PM

Title:

Grand Bahama Island desperately needs Government funding for animal control (as in Nassau). The Humane Society of Grand Bahama is a charity for Heaven's sake with some funding from The Grand Bahama Port Authority. They are overworked, overfilled and probably underpaid. They do a fantastic job but they cannot perform miracles. Ms. Kingsley's comments about the residents here speaks volumes. Thank you for bringing the conditions at the makeshift farm to light.

Diane Kingsley posted on: Thursday, September 19, 2013 6:03 PM

Title:

As frequent visitors to Grand Bahama Island for the past couple of decades, and ardent animal lovers, we contribute to the Grand Bahama Humane Society, and we follow it and the Freeport News very closely. Our first visit was in 1971 on our honeymoon. We also have made our own observations over the past several visits to the Island. I have to say that we are appalled at the general disregard many islanders have for the health and welfare of the island's animal population. The lack of neutering of pets, and the frequent neglect and abuse of them breaks our hearts. Also, the island's official lack of concern for these problems mystifies us. However, we have noted over time that the official position toward many problems besetting the native popuilation, human and otherwise, is often treated with disregard and disdain. It may be easy to understand the residents' lack of concern for its animals when one looks closely at the engendered disregard for the quality of human life that may be inferred by the lack of laws serving and protecting the people, and the political structure that seems to be more interested in protecting and benefiting its own narrow interests than that of its population. I hate to sound like a snooty outsider, but I have cared very much for the people I met while in Freeport, and it saddens me to see the dark side of this beautiful island. It is easy to understand why the economy and the morale of the residents of GBI have been steadily declining since we first began to visit there. I actually came away from our last vacation mentally depressed at what I saw. The GB Humane Society work super-human hours and effort to try to keep up with the needs of the animal population there, but it's like quicksand. I don't know how they do it.

posted on: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 3:02 PM

Title:

Why can't we know ahead of time what the deadlines are for the owner to comply or for the officials to report. It seems that so much is just left open-ended. Those of us that care are left to wonder what is happening. Can you just imagine what goes through the mind of the tourist that found ths? Home much he/she has talked about this incident? How many other potential tourists have read about it? Going back to an editorial cartoon in your paper a short while ago, featuring a goose called "Tourism". And why there is no gold in its egg any more, let me remind you that a society is oftern known by the way it treats its animals!

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