Goat owners on Saba were recently informed about the Island Government’s plan to commence with a goat buyback programme, which aims to reduce the number of roaming goats on the island. The programme financially compensates any goat owner in exchange for bringing in the meat of slaughtered goats. The buyback programme is slated to start on November 20, for the duration of nine months. This writes The Daily Herald.
This programme is similar to an earlier scheme introduced in 2004 that was established in order to decrease the harm and damage caused to the environment as a whole by the significant number of goats. The over-abundant number of roaming goats subsist on vegetation and agricultural produce and increase the erosion in the island’s steep hillsides. Goat owners will be paid US $5 per pound for goat or sheep meat. To be compensated, the hunter must take the meat to the Department of Agriculture where it will be inspected and weighed. They will then receive a receipt for payment at the Receiver’s Office. Meat can be delivered to the Department of Agriculture by appointment with Department Head Randall Johnson.
As part of the buyback, the Department of Agriculture has purchased freezers and has prepared a sanitary room prepared to receive the meat from the hunters. As an added incentive to make the programme as effective as possible, hunters will receive $50 for meat that is unfit for consumption. The goat owner can simply bring in the animal’s head as proof that it has been shot and they will be compensated accordingly. Hunters are reminded that they must observe the law and hunt, consequently only known goat owners and or persons designated by them may bring in meat during the campaign.
Apart from the fact that ending the problem of the roaming goats, which is desired a long time by almost all residents, gives some hope, there are several questionable aspects here.
First of all, in should have been mentioned and emphasized that it is the Dutch government that is paying for this. Secondly all descriptions and conditions and budget of this project should be made accesible for all residents. A third question is how the abuse of the funding 10 years ago will be prevented this time. Question number 4 is how the farmers and hunters will be able to proof that the killed goats are owned by whom because the majority of the goats seem to be completely wild and without any owner and also the prescribed labels in the ears are nowhere. Then a last question: in the meantime several farmers and owners of gardens were forced to make a fence around their property. Actually the government should have been paying all these fences because the government is responsible for the fact that the old APV which is still in force has not been followed and executed. Will the government pay for those fences from now on?
Will look forward to seeing the answer about the fences. We too were victims of having to put up a fence in order to keep the goats out, whose owners never took responsibility for all that was destroyed in our garden time and time again.
I can’t wait to see the answer about the fences. I was forced to perimeter fence my entire property at great cost because of irresponsible goat owners. If a goat walks onto private property, no one seems to own it. But God forbid if a property owner shoots it, the owner appears out of nowhere and demands compensation. 😉