Regional

'Ah done mi done'

Small farmers devastated by thieves, pregnant and lactating goats killed

BY RENAE DIXON Observer staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 09, 2013    

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WATT TOWN, St Ann — When Winston Dixon decided to raise goats in his backyard in Retirement, Watt Town, St Ann, he never imagined that praedial thieves would be so daring as to strike so close to home.

But Dixon has since been a victim of praedial larceny, not once, but twice in the last twelve months after thieves made off with seven of his goats.

Dixon was among three small farmers who recently lost a total of 13 goats, after thieves made off with the animals tied just a stone's throw from his back door and slaughtered them in nearby bushes.

Now the small farmer says he is convinced that the time has come for him to give up farming.

"Ah done mi done same way," a distraught Dixon told the Jamaica Observer North East.

The recent attack on the small farmer's livelihood was devastating for him as he was still recovering from a similar incident which occurred last December, when five of his goats were slaughtered.

At that time, the criminals spared the young kids, allowing him to make a fresh start, but this time it was not to be.

The bodies of three young kids were left lying in pools of blood.

"If you even tief the goat, leave the kid so mi can try wid dem," a very upset Dixon said.

But what was even more disturbing for Dixon, and the others affected, was that pregnant and lactating goats were also among those killed.

"One of the goat heavy in kid," Dixon stated.

At least two of the goats taken had given birth recently, one on that same day.

"When you look and see the kid was born yesterday and dem gone wid the mother," Dixon lamented.

"Mi no want no goat meat," one woman from the neighbouring Scarborough community stated.

A knife was reportedly left at the area where the goats were slaughtered in Retirement.

In the meantime, the Watt Town police said the matter was reported to them but that they have had no leads. Contact was reportedly also made with police outside the community to look out for persons in possession of meat they cannot account for.

The Watt Town police say persons have been refusing to report matters of praedial larceny to them and so the police have not been able to act to help in reducing the occurrences.

According to Sergeant Neil Brown, officer in charge of the Watt Town police, since the killing of the 13 goats, persons have been coming forward to say they have been victims of praedial larceny. However, those matters were never reported to the police.

"The people refuse to make reports when these things happen," he said. Sergeant Brown said this makes it difficult for the police to carry out effective policing.

He noted further that a recent meeting was held with the residents urging them to report matters to the police.

The police are also urging persons with information which may assist them

in their investigations to come forward.

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