Jamaica

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Animals

National Animal

The Red-billed Streamertail

“The sooner we acknowledge that animals are emotional beings, the sooner we will cease destroying them and embrace them as our brothers and sisters.”

A.D.Williams

Animals commonly seen in the wild

Marine fauna:

Manatees, sharks, eels, barracudas, tunas, mackerels, parrot fish.

Birds:

Hummingbirds, swallowtails, cuckoos, hawks, doves, owls, woodpeckers, parrots, peacocks.

Land mammals:

Bats, mongoose, horses, cottontails (rabbits), peccaries.

Snakes and insects:

Fireflies, moths, iguanas, crocodiles, snakes, lizards.

Common sights you will not like

In the city and
on the road

Stray animals, such as dogs, cats, cows and goats, that aren’t in good physical condition can be seen scavenging along the streets.

In the
Countryside

Tourists do horseback riding. Dogs can be seen tied to a tree.

General animal welfare issues

The country’s Cruelty to Animals Act doesn’t give emphasis on providing the animals their basic needs such as food, water, shelter and care, which basically constitutes animal welfare.

Critics to the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1904, amended in 1995, are fighting to amend the law to strengthen protection to animals and to impose higher and stricter penalties to violators.

Hunting or poaching:

The Wild Life Protection Act of 1945 protects 20 animals and all birds except for 23 species. Despite the act, the enforcement of its provisions is a major issue. The National Environment and Planning Agency has encouraged the hunting of the white-tailed deer as it causes damage to the crops and forest areas. The initial deer, not protected by the law, is said to have escaped from a tourist attraction and then reproduced.

Animal fights:

Animal fights are prohibited under the Cruelty to Animals Act. Despite the act, illegal cockfights are still common in some areas.

Sanctuaries to visit or volunteer:

• Seven Oaks Sanctuary for Wildlife

We have not included the treatment of animals in the meat/fur/leather industries, zoos or circuses, animal testing as it unfortunately still happens in most countries.

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