Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 11th 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, July 11, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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The Summary Offences Act of
1988, which details laws relating to
cruelty to animals, imposes fines for
a number of reasons relating to the
mistreatment of animals.
Section 64 of the act imposes a
fine of $200 on any person who
commits an offence or imprisonment
for one month, for "any person who
slaughters [wantonly] any animal,
except such as may have met with
accident, or which, for public safety
or other reasonable cause, ought to
be killed on the spot."
Section 79 of the act states that
any person who "cruelly beats, ill-
treats, starves, over-drives,
overrides, overloads, abuses,
tortures, or otherwise maltreats any
animal is liable to a fine of four
hundred dollars or to imprisonment
for two months."
Dog 'skinning' video causes anger but...
Consumers who patronise Chinese
fast food restaurants are concerned
they may have been deceived into
eating dog meat, but not concerned
enough to stop purchasing the food.
Following the spread of a viral video
of a dog being skinned by a man who
appeared to be Chinese at a location
that appeared to be local, citizens raised
concerns over what they described as
a brutal act.
Yesterday, business was slow but
steady at several Chinese restaurants
in Central Trinidad, but customers still
came in to purchase the food.
"I mean, it isn t going to stop me
from purchasing," said Kwame Guada.
Guada said he didn t eat Chinese
food often and he was concerned about
being deceived, but wouldn t really let
this deter him from purchasing the
"Let s be honest. When you go to
buy minced beef, you could be getting
minced anything and you wouldn t
Ryjll Morris, a student from Chagua-
nas, said he purchased food from Chi-
nese restaurants often.
"Everyone has heard that things like
that happen but everyone still buys
it," Morris said.
"Does it worry me that I could be
served something else without know-
ing? Yes. I m not confident that I
haven t eaten dogs before, but I like
Chinese food so I m hoping not and
I m most likely still going to buy it."
What should worry citizens is that
while other meats sold to consumers
go through checks and lab tests by
public health inspectors, dogs, cats and
rodents are not subjected to any such
In fact, according to Public Health
Inspector Neil Rampersad, from the
Sangre Grande Health Inspector s
Office, dog meat is not permitted to
be sold in this country.
"We would never approve dogs, cats
or rodents for sale. Meat is generally
inspected before it is sold to the public
and we do random sampling at restau-
rants as well as lab tests. We ensure
that the meat sold is fit for human
Rampersad said, however, that the
division was responsible only for meat
sold to the public.
The possibility that the dog was
slaughtered for the personal use of the
man in the video was also raised by
many citizens in comments across
social media, since it is impossible to
say what was done with the animal
after it was skinned.
Rampersad said the video came as
a surprise to him, as the local culture
meant public health officers weren t
faced with the challenge of inspecting
Yesterday, no one at the Chinese
Association of T&T was available to
comment on the story.
However, one restaurant owner in
Chaguanas, a Chinese national, said
she would never sell dog meat to her
"Some people in China eat dogs but
I never ate dogs and I do not sell it
She said many other restaurant
owners whom she knew would not
sell it either.
Animal rights activist Nalini Dial
says questions must be asked about
whether the public was being deceived
by owners of Chinese restaurants.
"Our culture is not to eat dogs or
cats, but we have Chinese nationals
coming into this country to work and
eat and that is part of their culture,"
"We do not want that kind of thing
in our country. We have laws to deal
With much fanfare and excite-
ment, the United National Con-
gress (UNC) kicked off its screen-
ing of prospective candidates for
four constituencies last evening
at the Rienzi Complex in Couva.
Candidates for La
Juan, Moruga/Tableland and Diego
Martin North East were screened,
but Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar will announce the
successful candidates on Monday
at the party s Monday Night Forum
However, incumbent MPs for
La Horquetta/Talparo and Moru-
ga/Tableland, Jairam Seemungal
and Clifton de Coteau, respectively,
can be certain that they will be
contesting the September 7 elec-
tion in hopes of retaining their
seats, since no other candidates
were screened for their constituen-
This was confirmed by acting
UNC chair Khadijah Ameen, who
told reporters three prospective
candidates were screened for
Barataria/San Juan, including
incumbent MP and Health Min-
ister Dr Fuad Khan.
She said she was not certain
how many candidates other than
Attorney General Garvin Nicholas
would be screened for the Diego
Martin North East seat which is
currently held by Colm Imbert of
the People s National Movement.
The Prime Minister, who heads
the screening committee, arrived
around 4 pm, but the screening
did not kick off until 5, with each
candidate expressing confidence
Khan, who is facing two com-
petitors, said he was not worried
as he was confident he had done
sufficient work in his constituency.
One of the first candidates to
arrive, Khan was accompanied by
a large number of supporters,
many wearing jerseys with his
photo printed on them, and a tassa
Seemungal also had a large
number of supporters and he was
accompanied by a music truck.
Optimistic that the Persad-Bisses-
sar-led People s Partnership would
be successful at the polls, he said,
"I think La Horquetta/Talparo will
be history in the making again
because we will be victorious at
"I think we are in a very, very
strong position now compared to
even 2010. In 2010 we went in not
knowing what will happen. In 2015
we are going in knowing how
much work we have done, despite
the little hiccups we may have had
over the past five years."
Unlike his counterparts, de
Coteau arrived alone with no
music and no supporters. He
admitted to feeling a "little bit of
anxiety," but said, "I don t think
I have anything to be fearful about.
I think I have done enough
although we could have done some
He said he was hopeful of get-
ting more than the 51 per cent of
the votes they got in 2010.
Nicholas, who was greeted by
several supporters who walked
with their own parang band, was
also confident of his chances.
Asked if he felt his position as AG
gave him a competitive edge, he
said, "I think my work in the com-
munity gave me that advantage.
If I were a useless Attorney General
not having performed in the con-
stituency, I would have been reject-
ed as a candidate and rightfully
so."When asked for an update
regarding Jack Warner s extradition
to the US on racketeering charges
related to his Fifa tenure, Nicholas
said, "The US has until the 26th,
27th of July and it s up to them to
send the formal request. The ball
is in their court really."
No announcement was made as
to when screening for the other
constituencies will take place.
Fanfare at UNC's first screening
WHAT THE ACT SAYS
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