Property owners will soon be held accountable for not keeping their residences free of cow itch.
Attorney General Dale Marshall revealed in the next two weeks, the Health Services Act will be amended, with a specific mention to the growth of the troublesome vine. Land owners will be penalised for allowing the weed to grow on their land.
The benefit of ownership carries with it the burden of responsibility
Marshall made the disclosure during Tuesday’s Parish Speaks at the Lester Vaughan Secondary School in St Thomas.
“The recommendation is we specifically mention cow itch in the legislation as being a noxious weed and therefore, as long as Cabinet agrees it will actually be an offence to have that particular weed growing on your land,” said the Attorney General.
“That is not currently the state of the law and therefore unless you sue that person in the civil court under the law of nuisance, they can ignore your entreaties to your peril,” he continued.
While addressing the concern made by a St Thomas resident, who mentioned that the vine has raided his property and negatively impacted the daily lives of his family, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley attested that landowners must be held accountable.
She stated that private property owners who fail to clear their vacant or abandoned lots, leaving Government to do clean up, will be addressed in the legislation. Mottley stated the charges for doing so will be applied to the land tax of the land owner.
“We are changing the relationship that people have with land, and forcing people to acknowledge that if you have the benefit of ownership, it carries the burden of responsibility.”
The Prime Minister also shared that half of the $2 million BBD committed to the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC), will go towards the cow itch cleanup, especially at government-owned plantations.