May 12 2011 – newsday.co.tt
We could not concur more with the seizure of the roaming pack of pitbulls that attacked and killed an unsuspecting Denise Rackal early Monday morning. The overwhelming public sentiment might be “blame the owner”—a police corporal whose property, ill prepared to hold one animal — could not be expected to contain eight pitbulls. We understand that sentiment. The dogs should have been secure and a policeman should have exercised better judgment. But these dogs are killers which may not be permitted to remain at large.
So we say yes, remove them because today there are eight fewer pitbulls to threaten the public. But what of the hundreds of other killer dogs residing among us in our neighbourhoods, the pitbulls and dangerous dogs that will maul our children, our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers in the mornings and days to come? Are we contemplating using post dog attack euthanasia as a solution or are we going to seek a permanent end to the savage dog bite related injuries and killings?
Eleven years ago we reached a clear consensus: pitbulls and other dangerous breeds were to be eliminated from TT. There was no need for further debate — we were in possession of the media reports and studies which demonstrated pitbulls are responsible for one third of the dog bite related fatalities, locally and worldwide. Trinidad and Tobago thus was resolute: we would join the league of sensible and progressive nations which for the protection of their citizens had banned dangerous breeds of dogs. We passed breed specific legislation, which would prohibit their importation and propagation and would call on owners to immediately neuter the animals in the country. Think of the attacks and deaths we might have prevented since 2000 had we been fully committed.
In the 11 years we have typically wavered; we have traded dog related deaths for home security and the business of security firms and at the appropriate moments, we have expressed due outrage. We have counted on irresponsible owners to be responsible. In the 11 years our fellow citizens have paid with their lives for our legislative vacillation and our lack of political will. Let us make it up to them. Let us make it up to Denise Rackal, to Denise Rackal´s family. Let us make her death our last pitbull killing if only out of selfishness — our wife or mother could be the next victim.
In her name and in the name of the victims of the last 11 years, we must commit to revisiting the 2000 Dangerous Dogs Act immediately and to making it a priority over lesser legislative business on the parliamentary agenda. Many insignificant bills have been enacted since 2000 and many hours have been lost on debate irrelevant to even these. In the name of Denise both sides can now agree to agree.
The Prime Minister has indicated Cabinet will today discuss the 2000 Act and has given us a half promise — the Attorney General she says has his eyes on the legislation. The public needs real reassurance, a vow that is more concrete. When the Government holds its post-Cabinet press briefing today it must give us a definite deadline for the legislation’s enactment. Will the Dangerous Dogs Act in its revised form be law by the end of 2011? What is Government’s target date for the complete elimination of pitbulls and other dangerous breeds of dogs from TT? These are not tough questions to answer, not when we consider the alternative, which is explaining to the children of another victim of a pitbull attack that their mother is dead because we let an Act of Parliament lapse.
May 10, 2011
A FEMALE SECURITY guard, walking on her way to work yesterday morning, was attacked and mauled to death by five pitbulls shortly after the vicious animals escaped from the Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas home of their owner — a police corporal.
Woman killed by cop’s 4 pit bulls
Four pit bulls mauled a security officer to death at Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas, early yesterday morning.
Woman killed by pitbulls
PITBULLS owned by a police officer attacked and killed a woman on her way to work yesterday. Security guard Denise Rackal, 46, was savaged by seven dogs, which ripped open her throat.
Relative of owner: Dogs will be put to sleep
A relative of the owner of the dogs yesterday told the Express that the four pitbulls owned by a police officer assigned to the North Eastern Division Task Force, would be put to sleep later today.
May 11, 2011
Killer pit bulls put to death
FOUR pit bulls, including the two which viciously attacked and killed security officer Denise Rackal in Chaguanas on Monday, were yesterday put to death, even as their police officer owner faces being evicted.
Husband cries out for justice
An autopsy performed on the mutilated body of Denise Rackal at the Forensic Sciences Complex, yesterday, revealed that she died from severe haemorrhaging caused by dog bites to her neck and head…
‘Don’t blame dogs’
DOGS should not be blamed for their actions since it is the owner’s responsibility to properly secure them, Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis said yesterday as she reacted to news that mother of two Denise Rackal was mauled to death by five pitbulls while on her way to work on Monday morning.
Overhaul for Dangerous Dogs Act
Kamla turns sod for $60m Couva/Preysal interchange
May 12, 2011
Mauling victim’s husband demands apology
LIONEL RACKAL, husband of Denise Rackal — the mother of two who on Monday was mauled to death by a pack of pitbulls — yesterday said he felt no justice on learning that the dogs were euthanised.
Pitbulls no more
We could not concur more with the seizure of the roaming pack of pitbulls that attacked and killed an unsuspecting Denise Rackal early Monday morning. The overwhelming public sentiment might be “blame the owner”—a police corporal whose property, ill prepared to hold one animal — could not be expected to contain eight pitbulls.