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GRANNY, 83, MAULED TO DEATH BY PITBULLS

By GYASI GONZALES gyasi.gonzales@trinidadexpress.com

THREE pitbulls this afternoon attacked and mauled to death an 83-year-old woman.

Sylvia Roberts was savaged by the dogs after she stepped out of her home at Archibald Street, Tunapuna to check on her mail.

Her screams brought neighbours who called the police. However, although officers arrived within minutes, the woman was already dead in the front yard.

Officers, who got the distress call at around 1.15 p.m. shot and killed all three animals. The dogs are said to belong to the woman's 43-year-old son who was at work at the time.

The Express was told that the dogs are unleashed during the day and allowed to roam about the secured compound.

Last August 26, 84-year-old grandmother Lillian Bunsee was bitten to death by a pitbull which escaped the family's kennel at La Seiva Road, Maraval. No criminal action was taken against anyone in that case.

Last week, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said Government
would be moving for the immediate proclamation of some aspects of the Dog Control Amendment Act.

The Act was passed in the Senate by 15 votes for/ 8 against/ and five
abstentions. All 15 government senators voted in favour of the measure, while all six PNM senators along with two Independents- Senators Elton Prescott and Ian Roach voted against and five Independents- Senators Subhas Ramkhelawan, Helen Drayton, Rolph Balgobin, Dhanayshar Mahabir and David Small- abstained.

Ramlogan said he gave instructions for the regulations to be prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Local Government. “I also intend to proclaim with immediate effect, some aspects of the law, for example the criminal offence for those persons who abandon their pitbulls in the streets. He said this action would put at risk the lives of innocent citizens".

He said the Minister of Local Government is working assiduously to address the capacity issues at the various dog pounds.
On the fact that the Independents did not support the bill, Ramlogan said the it was clear that they were not against the measure, but had reservations about the breed-specific policy behind the legislation (which only targeted pitbulls and two other breeds of dogs).

Ramlogan said to “criminalise” all dogs would be a “social disaster” and to subject all dog owners to the onerous conditions and restriction in the legislation, the financial costs and severe penalties was impractical, unrealistic and harsh.
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