Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, veterinarian, at his offices in Freeport. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

“The time has come for us to deal with dangerous dogs.”

That’s the opinion of veterinarian and former government minister, Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh.

Speaking with Guardian Media, Dr Ramadharsingh said too many nationals have been mauled or killed by dangerous dogs.

“During my tenure as Chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation, discussions had begun with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on the way forward to deal with dangerous dogs, but nothing meaningful came out of those talks,” Dr Ramadharsingh said.

The veterinarian is concerned that vulnerable persons—which includes children, the elderly and those who are physically challenged—are at risk of being mauled by dangerous dogs. He is advocating for proper registration of animals along with the proper veterinary checks into the health and temperament of the animal.

Dr Ramadharsingh also maintains that incidents of violence must be reported by the owner. Stressing the need for insurance, he said victims of dog attacks may need lifelong care.

“Who is going to foot the bill?” he asked.  “In many instances, these things happen in rural communities and the economy has made it difficult for people to survive. How is a family going to take care of a child or an elderly person who is attacked by a dog?”

He added: “There must be insurance because these things happen.  It is a reality that from time to time we have incidents of dog attacks. The dogs should be registered, and there should be an education, training and surveillance programme to keep monitoring the temperament of the dog.”

Dr Ramadharsingh also pointed out that some people do not have the financial resources to properly care for their dogs.