Rehab centre director in Bahamas faces animal cruelty charges in landmark case
NASSAU, Bahamas – The head of one of the biggest rehabilitation centres in the Bahamas has been charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty, after horses, rabbits and a goat at the facility were found allegedly suffering from starvation and other ailments.
And the Bahamas Humane Society says the prosecution of Terry Miller, the executive director of the Bahamas Association of Social Health (BASH), was a major step forward in enforcing the rights of animals.
Miller was charged following an investigation that was triggered by a police complaint filed by theBHS last month. Attorney for the Society, Metta MacMillan-Hughes said the police was only brought into the matter after all efforts by the BHS and veterinarians to educate and assist Miller and his staff at BASH, on the proper food and care needed by the animals under his care, failed.
Miller is now facing five counts of depriving five horses of sustenance, drinks, shelter or movement; five counts of committing or omitting an act which resulted in the horses being caused unnecessary suffering; two counts of deprivation and two counts of causing unnecessary suffering related to a goat and up to a dozen rabbits, between February 19 and April 8, 2016.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges when he appeared in court.
Magistrate Subusola Swain ordered that all animals, except two cats and a dog which were house pets, be removed from the BASH property and handed over to the BHS. She also prohibited Miller from owning any other animals until the case is finished.
Under the Animal Protection and Control Act, 2010, anyone found guilty of a first offence of cruelty shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both a fine and imprisonment. For a subsequent offence, the penalty is a fine not exceeding $20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both a fine and imprisonment.
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