Press Release

Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Release Date:
Wednesday, 26 July 2023 - 4:04pm

Owners of dogs and livestock are reminded to be responsible and proactive in ensuring their animals are secured, preventing harm to humans, other animals and property.

Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr. Theodore James said the department has been receiving complaints of increased dog attacks and incidents where livestock are left roaming freely. He said in some instances, animals have been invading properties and destroying vegetation such as vegetables and ornamental plants.

Mr. James said that according to the Pounds and Livestock Brands Act, 2004 Arrangement of Section 3 –

(1)       Any animal found straying in a public place may be

(a)       captured and impounded by any person; and

(b)       dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the Regulations.

(2)       Any animal found trespassing on any private land may be

(a)       captured and impounded by the occupier of the private land or by any person that the occupier may call upon to assist him to capture or impound the animal, including an authorised person; and

(b)       dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the Regulations.


Mr. James further stated that his department is working closely with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force to assist in enforcing the law whenever these unfortunate incidents occur.

 “We are appealing to owners to ensure their animals are always secured to prevent vicious dog attacks,” the Director said. He added, “These incidents are becoming too frequent, where persons are injured and traumatised. Vehicle collision and damage to water pipes and gardens are the types of report we get involving cattle, sheep and goats.”

According to the Dogs (Prevention of Injury to Persons, Livestock and Poultry) Act, 2001, it is illegal to have dogs on the beach outside the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Dog owners must keep their pets on a leash at all times when outside of their premises. Failure to abide by this law will result in a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars ($250).

Mr. James is urging owners to microchip their dogs, register them with the department and attach the registration tag to their dog’s collar.

The public is also asked not to feed stray animals and report sightings of such animals to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries at 468-9143 or 468-6123. 


Berta McKelly Adams

Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2740