Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
The Western Region Director of the Veterinary Service Department, Dr. Simon Gbene, has hinted that one can be jailed for six months for keeping wild animals like tigers, and lions among others as pets.
According to Dr. Gbene, Mr. Freedom Jacob Ceaser, Owner of seven-month-old wild cats can be jailed for six months for keeping wild animals like tigers as pets if he is found to have breached the law governing rearing of wild animals.
The Western Region Director of the Veterinary Service Department made this known in a telephone interview on Friday, May 20, 2022,
Dr. Gbene stated emphatically that it is against the laws of Ghana to keep such wild animals in residential areas, without a permit from the appropriate authorities.
According to him, anyone found culpable can be fined or jailed for six months or both.
“Tigers are wild animals and it is very dangerous to keep them as pets. They are capable of killing human beings. Anyone who wants to keep them must secure the needed permit, the person should have the needed training to keep them from causing harm to other persons. It is stated black and white in the laws that anyone who is found keeping tigers and other wild animals without permits can be fined or jailed for six months,” he disclosed.
The Western Region Director of the Veterinary Service Department used the opportunity to appeal to the general public to report anyone who keeps such wild animals in their neighbourhoods to the police for an arrest to be effected.
“If you are living in a community and you see a neighbour keeping tigers or any other wild animals like snakes, lions, etc. in their homes, immediately report them to the police. I will never advise anyone to keep tigers as pets because when they grow, they can be dangerous to even the owner,” he stated.
The Western Region Director of the Veterinary Service Department explained further that tigers can infect human beings with rabies and other diseases.
“Tigers can also transmit rabies to humans so it is not advisable to keep them at home.”
In another development, the Accra Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service says it is investigating the circumstances that led to a resident in a gated community in Accra keeping two tigers in his home.
The Command confirmed receiving a complaint about the issue.
“Preliminary investigations have established that a resident in a gated community at Osu is keeping two tigers under lock in a cage in his house,” a statement issued by the Public Affairs Unit of the Command on Thursday said.
“Police have reached out to the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and efforts are underway to relocate the animals to an appropriate facility.”
The Command says a special team has been deployed to the area to ensure the safety and security of residents until the animals are relocated.
“While investigations continue, we will like to entreat all residents within the community to remain calm as we work with our stakeholders to ensure their safety.”
A visit to the area on Friday, May 20, 2022, revealed that there are some Police Officers numberings about five who were seen giving protection to lives and properties.
Meanwhile on Thursday, May 19, 2022, Mr. Freedom Jacob Caesar, a businessman confirmed keeping the seven-month-old cats.
He explained to journalists that the move was to enhance the tourism potential of Ghana.