THE Agriculture Ministry will be seeking to establish clear guidelines with respect to animal welfare in TT. Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat made this disclosure during the Standing Finance Committee meeting in the House of Representatives on Monday.
He recalled in September, the ministry provided a $250,000 subvention to the TT Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA). That support came after the TTSPCA appealed for help to fund its operations, which had been adversely affected by the covid19 pandemic.
On Sunday, Tobago House of Assembly Health Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine announced a $10,000 monthly subvention help the TTSPCA’s Tobago arm.
While the ministry had not historically done so, Rambharat said it was pleased to support the TTSPCA’s efforts to rescue and rehome animals. He acknowledged the efforts of other groups which also help animals.
But Rambharat also observed there are some entities that claim to be animal welfare groups but are actually involved in the illegal trade in wildlife. Against that background, he said it is important for proper standards for animal welfare in TT to be established.
Rambharat reminded MPs that one of the last bills passed in Parliament before the August 10 general election dealt with animal welfare. He explained that one of the things that legislation called for was the development of regulations pertaining to animal rescue programmes and the standards for it.
In response to a question from Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein about funding for animal welfare groups, Rambharat said once clear standards are established as to what constitutes an animal welfare establishment, consideration can be given towards funding such groups.