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.