KRALENDIJK- Party leader of the Movementu di Pueblo Boneriano (MPB) wants the issue of animal welfare back on the agenda. Tjin Asjoe makes his comments in response to the news last week that a dog was beaten to death with a piece of wood.
“The abuse and neglect of dogs on Bonaire is still a problem. Last week we were all shocked by the news that a dog was brutally beaten with a club and then died. I am a big dog lover so this kind of news hits me hard. But this doesn’t just apply to me. Our community is horrified to hear over and over again about the abuse of dogs on the island.”
Incidentally, Tjin Asjoe notes that the problem has two sides: There are also more and more biting incidents on the island. “The problem is that abused or poorly trained dogs also exhibit socially deviant and undesirable behavior,” said Tjin Asjoe. The MPB party leader points to the damage to both victims of bite indicants, but also to the damage to, for example, goat farmers on the island.
According to Tjin Asjoe, the solution lies in the way dogs are treated. “They are our main companion animals and they are part of our daily lives. This also requires a sense of responsibility from every dog owner. Every owner is responsible for the education of his or her dog. Every dog owner should also ensure that their dog is not left unattended or can stray out of the yard. Every owner must be prepared to take measures when the behavior of his or her dogs gives rise to it,” according to Tjin Asjoe.
Although animal welfare already featured in the 2019 MPB election programme, Tjin Asjoe wants renewed attention for the subject. For this reason, he and fellow councilor Bernabela (UPB) submitted a motion in February 2021 with concrete recommendations when it comes to animal welfare. “Both animal cruelty and biting incidents must stop.”
Enforcement and prosecution
Tjin Asjoe points out that enforcement is also important. “The lack of enforcement on animal cruelty and aggressive dogs is a recurring complaint from society. It is seen as inadequate, and I agree”. Although the Police, based on the Bonaire Dog Ordinance 1997 can catch aggressive dogs the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force (KPCN) seems to have too little capacity to give priority to maintaining the ‘dog problem’.
Tjin Asjoe also notes that the Island Governor can also take enforcement action and also points out that the Penal Code BES allows for the possibility of prosecuting and punishing neglect and abuse.
“I call on our ‘security triangle’, consisting of the Governor, the police and the Public Prosecutor’s office, to take action and give the subject of biting incidents and animal cruelty the priority it deserves. As party leader, I will continue to draw attention to the MBP’s priority for both subjects, both within and outside the Island Council. For this I will continue to seek cooperation with all parties involved and animal lovers on Bonaire”, says Tjin Asjoe.