Dog Amnesty On Illegal Breeds

July 15, 2011

The Department of Environmental Protection today [July 15] announced they are offering a one-time amnesty of illegal dogs on the Island.

This Amnesty will operate for a period of six weeks: from July 18th, 2011 through to August 31st, 2011.

A Ministry spokesperson said, “The amnesty will serve to accept those animals that are already here, halt their reproduction, re-educate the public on dog legislation, and seize future illegal dogs.”

“In particular, the purposes of the amnesty will be:

• To remove all obstacles to proper licensing of qualified dogs;
• To reduce the number of illegal dogs which have not been identified by the Department of Environmental Protection, and to better estimate Bermuda’s canine population;
• To allow persons owning qualified, illegal dogs to keep them and have them legalized without prosecution;
• To ensure the spaying/neutering and licensing of these dogs;
• And, finally, to cease any practice which could be seen as complicity in the keeping of illegal dogs and to establish a clear and consistent policy for handling of similar cases in the future.”

Dogs eligible for amnesty include those born before July18th, 2011 and which are:

• A restricted breed (as per the Ministry of the Environment circular of January 13th 2004);
• A non-restricted breed which is unlicensed; or
• A product of a litter for which no breeder’s permit was issued by the Department.

Dogs NOT eligible for amnesty include:

• Those born after July18th, 2011;
• Those not legally on island as of July 18th, 2011.
• Those seized by the Animal Control Wardens in the course of their duties;
• Those dogs whose owners are unwilling to have the animals spayed or neutered; or
• Those dogs which are outside of the terms of the Amnesty.

The Amnesty will carry the following terms:

• All dogs are to be presented to the Department of Environmental Protection and licensed immediately, and at the latest prior to the end of the amnesty period;
• All dogs must be spayed or neutered or have a scheduled appointment with a veterinarian to do so on or before November 30th, 2011;
• Owners must consent to allow the Department access to the patient’s veterinary record for the sole purpose of verifying that the spay/neuter has occurred;
• All dogs must be microchipped and registered with the Department of Environmental Protection;
• There shall be a maximum of two dogs of restricted breed(s) per property. Persons owning more than two dogs will require the written permission of the owner of the property where the excess dogs will be kept and provide contact details of the owner of such property to the Department of Environmental Protection;
• Owners will need to sign a contract with the Department of Environmental Protection which binds them to the terms of the Amnesty;
• The Amnesty cannot supersede any contract that the owner has with the Department or Ministry, or any formal caution previously issued. For example, a previously warned owner cannot use the Amnesty to obtain any additional illegal dog. An importer cannot use the Amnesty to circumvent a condition attached to an importation.

The spokesperson continued, “Failure to comply by the full terms of the amnesty offer will render the dog open to confiscation and the owner of the illegal dog open to prosecution. Failure to comply with the full terms of the Amnesty may also result in the termination of the dog.”

The Department of Environmental Protection estimates there are currently several hundred restricted breed dogs on island.

Director of Environmental Dr. Frederick Ming said: “The Department of Environmental Protection considered options available to it. One option was to seize and destroy all illegal dogs. This option would invariably capture loving pets, and evoke several lengthy court proceedings. The option was costly in terms of money and manpower, and was deemed impractical.”

The Minister of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy the Hon. Walter H. Roban said: “While the Canine Advisory Committee was not directly tasked with considering this Amnesty, it was informed of the Amnesty proposal, and I am happy to report that the Committee supported this initiative.”

The Minister added, “I am fully satisfied with the current level of resources available to police dog ownership in Bermuda and have full confidence in our ability to enforce the Amnesty.”

Members of the public with questions or concerns regarding this can contact the Department of Environmental Protection at 236-4201.

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Comments (16)

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  1. D Rock says:

    Bout time.

    • Black Soil says:

      Got that right!!

    • Warrior 1 says:

      YOU PEOPLE THAT KEEP BANNING GODS CREATIONS JUST MAY GET BANNED FROM HIS GREATEST CREATION!!!>>>>>STOP BEING LAZY AND POLICE THE SITUATION …AND I DONT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT LACK OF FUNDS FOR IT BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE LICENSING FEE IS FOR…BUT THEN AGAIN I WAS ALSO TOLD THAT ABOUT CAR LICENCE…{FOR THE UP KEEP OF OUR BEAUTIFULLY ASPHALTED ROADS WE TRAVEL ON }….THE ONLY TIME PEOPLE BAN THINGS IS WHEN DONT HAVE A CLUE ON HOW TO CORRECT THE SITUATION….I REALLY THINK ITS TIME TO CULL THE HERD PEOPLE!!!

  2. Kathy says:

    I honestly don’t think this will work. Sounds good but the folks that are illegallt breeding and selling are the ones that should be targeted. We shall see, we shall see!

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    More blah blah blah from the blah blah blah party.

    Who is going to go out & track these owners down? Who is going to prosecute? Will the courts penalize the guilty? Where will the money come from to pay for all of this?

    An election is coming. You can smell it.

  4. N/A says:

    I think the parents of these MP’s who came up with this dumb and stupid law about banning certain breeds should have been spayed and neutered. I always laugh when I see these MP’s thinking that they are somehow making Bermuda a better place by banning the breed of a dog, instead of targeting the irresponsible owners who make them that way.

  5. Tony says:

    Completely stupid idea. Should be enforcing the law not letting people have amnesties.
    Obviously a bribe to their voter base.

  6. Case gone Wrong says:

    What idiots….its not the dogs that should be banned its the people who train there dogs to attack, growl, and kill. I think the laws should be subjected to the owners not the dogs. I find this a disgrace. I live in a country where dog are walked without leashes, pitbulls, german shepards, rotweilers….and here in Bermuda, breeds are illegal….how stupid. I think you need to blame the owners, that shout at their dogs to attack! atttack! attack! and not punish people who have the same breed and them sit, heel, kisses & hugs! Im sorry! at the end of the day, I dont care if people call my pitbull a sissy beacuse it doesnt attack, growl or bite people. Its those people out there that are turning there dogs into human killers. Ban them, not dogs!

  7. Malcolm X says:

    Theffering thuckatash! Is Thylverter afraid a wittle dog.

  8. You got me says:

    Hey all you negative comment makers…..WHATEVER1, lets get rid of the dogs,and also be more grown up,bunch of BACKWARDS mentality thinkers.CHEESH a child could see you all need help.

    • Stop Pointing ya Fingers says:

      Lets get rid of you first! See how you like being MURDERED!!!

    • LOL (original) says:

      You got me is funny.

      Look, here it is, they ban anything that has cause noise in Bermuda guys with visors band – uses in shootings, hoodies band due to possibly hiding identity, dogs – used in drug trade. I agree with the OBA what’s next. Once these rights are gone who will fight to get them back this is a band aid for a gaping laceration. Where is the commitments to fixing the underling issues we have. It’s not even the dogs it’s the owners of the dogs. Show me a pit with a caring loving owner I’ll show you a good house dog. Show me a pit with a neglectful owner who looks at man’s best friend as just an animal I’ll show you a vengeful dog who stays in defense mode.

      LOL lets ban emotions that would f*C^ the politicans though!

  9. The Truth (One And Only) says:

    Well our Premier/Finance minister has these knuckle heads cracking try and find ways to get money back in the government account Why don’t they have an amnesty on illegal chickens they seem to be more of a problem. LoL! YOU GOT ME. How about getting rid of this idiotic PLP government? That would be positive.

    • You got me says:

      GO AHEAD….blame the P.L.P…thats all anybody seems to do theses days,shame on all that do,wheres your personal responsibility for these issues,OH I forgot they do not belong to you smh….

  10. D Rock says:

    The ban list should have never been put in place in the first place. Dennis Lister was clueless when he implemented this legislation. Ninety percent of the dogs on the list are unknown to the general public and have never been listed with the BKC before. I believe he must have copied the list from some other jurisdiction. It is totally rediculous for this silly ban to go on for so long!