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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 30, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesFATAL COLLISION WITH BULL SPOTLIGHTS AG POLICIES

FATAL COLLISION WITH BULL SPOTLIGHTS AG POLICIES

As the police investigation continues into Sunday night's collision between an automobile and a bull in which a St. Thomas man was killed, the Agriculture Department is looking into review of its stray animal policies.
St. Thomas Rescue officer Ray Sanderson was killed in the accident, and a 10-year-old passenger, reported to be a family member, was treated for injuries.
Sanderson's car was traveling east on the Bovoni roadway when it was reported to have collided with the animal. Stray animal complaints are fairly frequent in that area, and the Agriculture Department was able to quickly identify the animal's owner.
"This animal was caught about three days before the accident, tagged and returned to its owner. We were surprised to learn that it was back on the road again Sunday," Asst. Agriculture Commissioner Elverette Elliot said Monday night.
Elliot said standard practice is to return stray animals to their owners when they are claimed, or destroy them if they are not. The livestock is rounded up and the owner is notified; if there is no owner, the animal is slaughtered and the meat given to charitable organizations and prisons.
The number of complaints about stray animals is a general indication of the level of owner irresponsibility, Elliot added. He acknowledged that many animals wander to find water and food when they're not supplied.
The Agriculture Department, Elliot said, may have to review its policy of returning livestock to their owners time after time. "We need to decide whether the animals should be returned when farmers are not responsible enough to contain their livestock," Elliot said.
Stray animals are not unusual in the area of Bovoni where the fatal accident occurred.
Andrew Williamson, a veterinarian who has practiced on St. Thomas for almost three decades, suggested Monday that what is unusual is the willingness to take ownership responsibility when property damage involving loose animals occurs.
Williamson believes there is a simple but long-overdue solution. "More laws, more penalties, more fines are not the answer," he said. "The answer is enforcing the laws we already have on the books."

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As the police investigation continues into Sunday night's collision between an automobile and a bull in which a St. Thomas man was killed, the Agriculture Department is looking into review of its stray animal policies.
St. Thomas Rescue officer Ray Sanderson was killed in the accident, and a 10-year-old passenger, reported to be a family member, was treated for injuries.
Sanderson's car was traveling east on the Bovoni roadway when it was reported to have collided with the animal. Stray animal complaints are fairly frequent in that area, and the Agriculture Department was able to quickly identify the animal's owner.
"This animal was caught about three days before the accident, tagged and returned to its owner. We were surprised to learn that it was back on the road again Sunday," Asst. Agriculture Commissioner Elverette Elliot said Monday night.
Elliot said standard practice is to return stray animals to their owners when they are claimed, or destroy them if they are not. The livestock is rounded up and the owner is notified; if there is no owner, the animal is slaughtered and the meat given to charitable organizations and prisons.
The number of complaints about stray animals is a general indication of the level of owner irresponsibility, Elliot added. He acknowledged that many animals wander to find water and food when they're not supplied.
The Agriculture Department, Elliot said, may have to review its policy of returning livestock to their owners time after time. "We need to decide whether the animals should be returned when farmers are not responsible enough to contain their livestock," Elliot said.
Stray animals are not unusual in the area of Bovoni where the fatal accident occurred.
Andrew Williamson, a veterinarian who has practiced on St. Thomas for almost three decades, suggested Monday that what is unusual is the willingness to take ownership responsibility when property damage involving loose animals occurs.
Williamson believes there is a simple but long-overdue solution. "More laws, more penalties, more fines are not the answer," he said. "The answer is enforcing the laws we already have on the books."