The Bottom, Saba – With its project team in place, the Public Entity Saba will carry out its goat control project. This project, which is to address the longstanding issue of free-roaming goats on the island, will be executed by Saba government over 3 years through the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). The project is coordinated by Justin Simmons-de Jong.
In the coming week(s), local coordinator Simmons-de Jong will meet with all goat owners on the island. The purpose of these stakeholder consultations will be to (1) inform the goat owners about the necessary changes of keeping goats in the future, (2) to gather information and assess which farmers want to shift toward raising goats in a more controlled and sustainable manner and (3) to discuss with each goat owner what their future farming business plan could look like and what investments they have to make themselves.
The information collected will be used to determine the needs and goals of the goat farmers on Saba and how they can be supported through this project to reach their goals.
Owners of free-roaming goats will be given a 3-month grace period, whereby they will be able to remove their own free-roaming animals through the currently used method of harvesting through shooting or live capture where the animals are placed in pens.
Public safety in the removal phase of the project is top priority. Saba residents will be informed via public notices well in advance of the start of the removal of goats in each zone/area, whereby appropriate dates and times will be publicized through various platforms to reach all affected residents.
Through this project, Saba will address several environmental issues, while enhancing its agricultural sector for the further development of a more self-sustainable island. St. Eustatius will also execute a free-roaming animal control project. Both islands plan to cooperate in their shared project goals.