Friday, January 19, 2018

Independent Senators urged to reject Dogs Bill

 Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is calling on Independent Senators to join with the Opposition and reject the Dogs Control Bill.

The bill requires a three-fifths majority and Government would therefore need the votes of four Independent Senators to have it passed in the Senate.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Rowley said the Attorney General misrepresented the situation to the House in the worst possible way. 

Rowley said the Attorney General, in his piloting of the bill, told the Parliament he was guided by advice from the veterinary fraternity and identified individuals with whom he consulted and upon whose advice the bill was drafted and on whose advice the breeds were identified.  The law contains conditions for vets to certify dogs by breed and there are serious penalties for vets who improperly certify dogs. 

Rowley said: “Firstly, not only did the Attorney General not consult with the persons as he said he did, but he received correspondence from them which was diametrically opposed to what he told the Parliament. Which means that the very basis on which the law is to exist—which is that vets would certify the breeds which are dangerous, the letter from the Vet Association to the Attorney said the opposite—that “we (the vets) are not trained, are not disposed and would not certify dogs because one cannot certify dogs by just looking at them”.

“And therefore the law where dogs would be certified by vets cannot be operated. Because they wrote the Attorney General and told him that they cannot do it by professional training and will not attempt to do so. He did not tell the Parliament that. Instead he told the Parliament that they supported what he was putting to the Parliament,” Rowley said. 

He said Ramlogan named one woman (Kristel-Marie Ramnath) and praised her for being so co-operative. The woman wrote to the Attorney General and the Opposition complaining about what he said about her, saying that she stood by what the Veterinary Association told him and asked for an apology.

Rowley said it was when Ramlogan was faced with this, he sought to distract the population by accusing the vet in distress of being the girlfriend of the member of Parliament (Terrence Deyalsingh) who referred the matter to the parliamentary floor.

“I have been in Parliament for many, many years and I cannot recall a more disgraceful situation where a member of Parliament so violated the public trust and in such a cavalier manner would treat so indecently with the people whom he has taken an oath to serve,” Rowley stated. 

He said he was once again calling on the Prime Minister to not only rein in Ramlogan but to save the population the “continuing embarrassment and remove him from office. The Attorney General is a disgrace,” he said.