Meeting To Discuss Managing Canines & Safety

February 21, 2023

“I am committed to addressing the growing number of canine-related incidents, especially those involving pitbull breeds,” said Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban, following a recent meeting — where they estimated that “there could be as many as 2000 illegal pitbulls in Bermuda”– with canine and animal stakeholders to “discuss and learn how participants and their organizations could contribute to improved management of canines and public safety.”

A Government spokesperson said, “Joining Minister Roban in the meeting was:

  • Senator Lindsay Simmons JP, Junior Minister for Social Development and Seniors and Home Affairs;
  • Mr Christopher Famous JP, MP;
  • Mr Jack Castle, President, Bermuda Kennel Club;
  • Mrs Leslie Shabolt, Dog Trainer;
  • Mrs Kate Terceira, President, SPCA;
  • Mr Drew Pettit [Director, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and
  • Dr Jonathan Nisbett, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Managing Canines and Public Safety Meeting Bermuda Feb 2023

“Among the many items discussed in the meeting was the need to change the attitude among offending dog owners and the general perception in the community. A concern that was noted is a growing sense of anxiety and fear of dogs in the community, mainly towards some breeds, such as Pitbulls, which is unfortunate, as the overwhelming majority of human and dog interactions are positive.

“However, irresponsible owners treat these dogs as commodities, making them almost disposable. Another important topic was the need to address the issues around breeding and ownership of canines. The stakeholder groups at the meeting estimated that there could be as many as 2000 illegal Pitbulls in Bermuda.

“Suggestions to address some of the issues raised included:

  • 1. Reconstituting the ad-hoc Canine Advisory Committee;
  • 2. Revisiting previous reports to consider new legislation;
  • 3. Consider creating a new canine breeding club;
  • 4. Develop a microchip tracking programme;
  • 5. Encourage responsible canine ownership by removing fees for microchipping, licensing and other associated costs; and
  • 6. Hold an amnesty followed by increased fines for noncompliance.

“Most importantly, all in attendance recognized the need for active support and involvement from the community.”

Minister Roban explained, “This meeting was an excellent opportunity for all major stakeholders in Bermuda to come together and discuss the challenges we face as a country and how we can solve them in a way that produces results.

“Meanwhile, as we work towards addressing these issues to better monitor and identify offending dogs, full implementation of the Dogs Act 2008 will occur in this first calendar quarter. It will mandate that all incidents of dogs causing injury be reported.

“Several professions will be legally required to report these incidents, particularly those in the medical and veterinary fields. To facilitate reporting, the Government will release a convenient, easy-to-use digital reporting system accessible by computer, tablet or smartphone. Furthermore, ticketing for minor offences under the Dogs Act 2008 will also begin.

“I encourage all dog owners to be responsible and keep their dogs and our community safe. I also thank all those who attended the meeting. I applaud their passion for not only protecting the general public but the animals as well.”

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  1. Rufus the Dog says:

    My name is Rufus and I am not a pit bull, but I am a mixed breed dog. Everybody is always talking about pit bulls. What about the other dogs who want a good home where they are loved and cared for?

    I try to be obedient,, but I don’t think my owner likes me anymore.

    Every week when the trash is put out in my neighbourhood, I tear open the bags and turn over the trash cans hoping to find something to eat because I am so hungry. The neighbours get mad because the trash ends up in their yards. They have called the dog warden and the SPCA, but no one has come to check on me.

    I even chase after the Sargasso delivery people when they come with food, but they don’t give me anything to eat! I smell bad because I haven’t had a bath in several months and sometimes, I have fleas. In the summer, I am wallowing in the dirt just to relieve myself because I am so itchy! I think I may have irritable bowel syndrome too, because I am pooping everywhere on the Neighbour’s lawns and in the road where cars and bikes and trucks ride in it, leaving a stinking mess! I am too big for a doggie diaper.

    I am so sad and lonely and howl every night. I am cold and hungry. I have no one to play with and I don’t get any exercise.

    I wish I had a good home. Is there someone out there who wants to adopt me?

  2. maddog says:

    STOP all this phaffing about. BAN THE PITBULLS. I am a dog lover, of ALL DOGS so no need to come back at me about it’s not the breed it’s the owner. I totally agree and there are many lovely Pitts out there who are well socialised and properly cared for, I meet them on the trails every day. The only way to eliminate the problem is to remove the accessibility of these dogs from these very ignorant mean nasty people. They breed them for money and to fight them. They steal other dogs out of peoples yards to breed and fight. PLP you have enough votes yet? You lifted the ban to get votes, happy now? You are responsible for this current situation and have the power to FIX IT. So FIX IT. The animals are suffering. You feel good about that?

  3. Real Deal says:

    simple fix Bermuda… dogs breeds that grow to be over a certain size and weight should be required to attend dog school where that will be socialized exercised and trained with basic commands, controlled aggression, agility showmanship and vegetable/fruit farming.Bermuda will be come the island with the most population of educated/trained dogs