Strict program against unattended cattle pushed

Posted on Nov 27 2000

Cattle owners may now have to be more responsible in taking care of their livestock as the Department of Public Safety is planning to enforce a strict program to prevent cattle from roaming around public places.

DPS and the Saipan Mayor’s Office are scheduled to meet to discuss the health and safety problems created by cattle left unattended by the owners.

About three weeks ago, the island’s tourist district witnessed a cattle went berserk as it attacked several people including a tourist and a police officer.

Public health officials have also raised concern on cattle that are left defecating on the beach or in places where rainwater runs off which may be the source of bacteria or diseases.

The Division of Environmental Quality has already issued notices to Saipan residents about pollution in beaches warning them against fishing or swimming in certain areas due to presence of fecal bacteria which may be due to feces from cattle, dogs, and cats.

Earlier, the Department of Public Health has warned the community to be extremely careful against exposure to animal urine, contaminated water or infected animal tissue which can lead to leptospirosis, an acute infectious disease that may be transmitted by rats, dogs, livestock, rodents, wild mammals and cats.

“We just want to ensure the public’s safety by enforcing a strict program which we will be discussing with the Mayor’s Office,” said DPS Commissioner Charles W. Ingram.

Mayor Jose Sablan is planning to pass a local legislation that will ensure strict compliance of residents on how they should take care of their cattle in cooperation with the DPS.

Under the proposed plan, DPS may have to impound the cattle that will be caught roaming around freely. Details of the plan will be made by the Mayor’s Office, which has requested police assistance to solve the problem. Cattle owners may have to pay a certain fine to get their animal back. (LFR)

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