Is this your horse sir?

Is this your livestock?

Is this your livestock?

While driving through my neighbourhood, I caught a glimpse of this. It then occurred to me that sights such as this seem to be more common not just in my immediate vicinity but elsewhere. Why do some feel that their livestock grazing ground is wherever there is grass? Let me call this practice out as being one which should not be engaged in at all.

I thought to myself “This must be against the law in St. Lucia.” In my search, I came across Section 486 of the St. Lucia Criminal Code 2008. The section is entitled “ANIMAL TREATING, CLEANING, FEEDING, ETC, CAR WASHING AND REPAIRING IN PUBLIC PLACES” and though it seems to form part of a wider scope of public nuisances involving not just animals but automobiles as well, there seems to be clear provisions against what I had the pleasure of capturing with my mobile phone camera. S. 486(1)(b) indicates;

(1)     A person who—

(b)     in any public way or public place, to the annoyance of any person, feeds, fodders, farries, shoes, or bleeds any animal, except in the case of accident;

is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500.

Until I find a more direct provision, it would seem that the owner of these horses is liable to a $500 fine and would do well to find a stable to house and feed them. This fine is specifically for the act of “feeding” them to my “annoyance,” in a “public place” (namely near a community centre, through which a small alternate passageway for vehicles exists). This fine may in fact be more, if the court decides that each horse raises a separate count of $500 under the section. If each of the 4 pictured horses is to be considered as a separate “animal” under the act, then the 4 of them will total a potential $2000 liability to the owner.

So I ask; is this your horse sir?

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Jayde Jean is an Attorney-at-law of the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Saint Lucia circuit. He holds interests in various areas of the legal and political environment within the Commonwealth Caribbean region, with special interests in Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Criminal Practice.

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