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UPDATE: ‘No goat on my plate!’ – Hon Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull

- Second District Representative to investigate allegations of goat poisoning on Jost Van Dyke & surrounding islands
Representative for the Second District Honourable Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull disclosed that he has not had any goat meat for the past two and a half weeks following the allegations of goat poisoning on Jost van Dyke and its surrounding Islands. Photo: VINO
Jost van Dyke resident Gerald A. Chinnery speaking at the meeting. Photo: VINO
Jost van Dyke resident Gerald A. Chinnery speaking at the meeting. Photo: VINO
Persons in attendance at yesterday's meeting. Photo: VINO
Persons in attendance at yesterday's meeting. Photo: VINO
More of the persons in attendance at yesterday's meeting. Photo: VINO
More of the persons in attendance at yesterday's meeting. Photo: VINO
Some of the skeletal remains found. Photo: VINO
Some of the skeletal remains found. Photo: VINO
Part of a goat skull found yesterday on Jost van Dyke. Photo: VINO
Part of a goat skull found yesterday on Jost van Dyke. Photo: VINO
Members of the Jost van Dyke Action Committee will tomorrow January 3, 2016 be hosting a meeting at the beach of Great Harbour to discuss the issues regarding goats and allegations of poisoning the animals which are resident on the surrounding small islands of the sister island. Photo: gifts.rescue.org
Members of the Jost van Dyke Action Committee will tomorrow January 3, 2016 be hosting a meeting at the beach of Great Harbour to discuss the issues regarding goats and allegations of poisoning the animals which are resident on the surrounding small islands of the sister island. Photo: gifts.rescue.org
Jost van Dyke resident Gerald A. Chinnery said that the meeting will start at 2:00 pm and said that persons coming from Tortola could take the 1:00 pm ferry over to the sister island and leave on the 4:00 pm ferry back to Tortola. Photo: Facebook
Jost van Dyke resident Gerald A. Chinnery said that the meeting will start at 2:00 pm and said that persons coming from Tortola could take the 1:00 pm ferry over to the sister island and leave on the 4:00 pm ferry back to Tortola. Photo: Facebook
GREAT HARBOUR, Jost Van Dyke, VI – Representative for the Second District Honourable Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull disclosed that he has not had any goat meat for the past two and a half weeks following the allegations of goat poisoning on Jost Van Dyke and its surrounding islands.

The Second District Representative was on the sister island of Jost van Dyke yesterday January 3, 2016 attending a meeting organised by the Jost Van Dyke Action Committee in response to allegations of goat poisoning by a conservation group on the island.

The meeting took place along the beach in Great Harbour and had a small turnout of concerned residents of the island.

This news site has learnt that the conservation group is concerned that the large population of goats on the surrounding islands can pose a threat to ecosystems. It is being alleged by residents, however, that the group is poisoning the goats.

Those residents are adamant that the conservation group cannot tell persons with their private land anything about preserving their land which has been in their possession for generations.

They are also worried for the goat population which they said has sharply declined over the past several months. They noted too that people from Tortola depend on those on Jost Van Dyke for wild goats which they say is healthier to consume than the goats reared for sale on some parts of Tortola and that the brouhaha over alleged poisoning could damage this market for those who sell the goats.

'Goat is off the menu'

“For the last two weeks I have been hearing stories of goats on Jost Van Dyke, on Tobago, on this end of the district. I’ve made some inquiries as to whether there are any facts to these allegations? Do we know who is poisoning the goats?” he asked.

“My task now is to approach the Minister whose [department] wrote a letter to the group to find out what is going on. Whatever is going on we must make sure first and foremost that it is in the best interest of the people,” he said, referring to a 2013 letter written to the Action Committee from the National Parks Trust saying that the goats on the surrounding islands will be relocated to Jost Van Dyke.

The Second District Representative said out of an abundance of caution he has taken goat off his menu.

“I know for sure that I eat goats but I ain’t eat none in the past two and a half weeks to be honest,” he said.

Honourable Turnbull said he will make the necessary contacts with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, the Department of Conservation and Fisheries and the National Parks Trust to get a clear understanding of the issue.

“I need to get to the facts of it otherwise we will be just operating in rumours and I don’t want to point any fingers at anybody.”

He said that following his hearing from these government agencies he would have to make a decision on whether he supports the move or not.

“If what is happening now is not what was agreed upon then there needs to be investigations.”

During a drive into the hills of Jost Van Dyke, this news site's reporter saw skeletal remains of goats in many areas, though it is understood that skeletal remains do not necessarily mean evidence of goat poisoning.

See previous article published on January 2, 2016:

JVD residents to discuss ‘goat poisoning’ on nearby islands

-meeting to be held tomorrow January 3, 2016 @ Great Harbour, JVD beach to delve into allegations that a conservation body is poisoning goats on small, surrounding islands to JVD

GREAT HARBOUR, Jost Van Dyke, VI – Members of the Jost Van Dyke Action Committee will tomorrow January 3, 2016 be hosting a meeting at the beach of Great Harbour to discuss the issues regarding goats and allegations of poisoning the animals which are resident on the surrounding small islands of the sister island.

According to information reaching this news site just today January 2, 2016, a number of Government officials are expected to be there. This includes Second District Representative Honourable Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull, according to our sources.

Persons on Jost Van Dyke have alleged that a number of goats have been poisoned in a bid to stop the domesticated animals from foraging on the nearby islands of Big Tobago and Little Tobago and disrupting conservation programmes.

Speaking to this news site some weeks ago, Gregory A. Callwood, a resident of Jost Van Dyke, said that the persons believed to have allegedly poisoned the goats are said to be connected to a conservation body.

“They have some people over here embarked on a project and they just decided to kill all the goats out on these islands. They are setting poison with water and a bush and it is very dangerous as people may eat the goat which had the poison,” alleged Callwood.

Jost Van Dyke resident Gerald A. Chinnery said that the meeting will start at 2:00 pm and said that persons coming from Tortola could take the 1:00 pm ferry over to the sister island and leave on the 4:00 pm ferry back to Tortola.

“I don’t know how an organisation could say that they are preserving when they are killing the goats. We hear that they are seeking to kill the goats by poisoning. How can you be into preservation and killing at the same time?” he asked. “What message are you trying to send to the people of the Virgin Islands?” he asked.

He said that for over 100 years his family and those of others have had goats roaming the islands of Big Tobago and Little Tobago.

“We the residents of Jost Van Dyke are upset at what is happening and we need the Minister of Natural Resources and Labour to tell us something because we are not going to sit back and be taken over by a private organisation,” he said.

Speaking with this news site, Kelvin Penn, the acting Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer in the Department of Conservation and Fisheries, told this news site that the goats are not native to the outer islands near Jost Van Dyke and when they are in a confined space they rapidly multiply and become a problem as they are likely to eat a lot of the vegetation resulting in food shortage.

25 Responses to “UPDATE: ‘No goat on my plate!’ – Hon Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull”

  • DON Q (02/01/2016, 20:22) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    Let my ppl go
  • Annoyed (02/01/2016, 20:47) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    Tie y'all bloody goats. They are a problem here on Tola too.
    • foxy (03/01/2016, 22:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      POOR TING!
    • linda` (04/01/2016, 12:24) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      AGREE WITH YOU 110%. not only goats, COWS AS WELL. I WISH I KNEW HOW TO MAKE A CONCOTION FOR THE COWS...... foolishness.......
  • qc (02/01/2016, 22:30) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes there is no doubt that the issue on Jost Van Dyke is the recession and not the goats
  • Preservation S (02/01/2016, 22:34) Like (2) Dislike (18) Reply
    You natives on JVD are too dumb to handle your own problems. Even the expat whiltes know this much.
    • the rock (03/01/2016, 07:18) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
      this comment can only come from a dumb person, its takes one to know the other!
      • in the news (03/01/2016, 22:17) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
        The truth of the matter here is that the ordinary citizens are still under a form of modern slavery. The outstanding difference is that white masters are now replaced by rich black and brown masters ignoring their civic responsibilities but using their wealth with positions of authority as a whip that only offers a false sense of security.
    • @ Preservation S (03/01/2016, 22:30) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      Thank you for your information. i am sure that many people are happy to her from citizens like you. Please, keep up the goo work and in time, your prayers will be answered.
  • born here (02/01/2016, 22:55) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    some are more equal than others..lol
  • farmer (03/01/2016, 05:52) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    After the meeting on JVD it will be nice to know WHAT dr do little is goin
    To protect now
    Hope Mitch is informed so he can enlighten us
    We have hunted on Norman and Peter island for years but "they " have eradicated the goats there also
    Tell us Dr , what islands your friends cant own MUST become "parks"
    Please inform/enlighten us and remember WE have rights too Not you alone .
    Awaiting info. From Rep Mitch this afternoon
    • cnn (03/01/2016, 07:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well saw look trouble
    • Laura (03/01/2016, 09:14) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Our forefathers have work and toils to save these beautiful ISLANDS for their off springs to live comfortable and these so called CUBANS want to take everything from us we have the doctor to blame for that because TORTOLA should have own running our country . Those old folks are turning over in their grave to see what these so call leaders are doing with the land and treating their off springs .This is only a pinch of what is going on more to come later and it will shock the core of people heart.
    • Bad with this (03/01/2016, 15:42) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      People, if farmers own the goats - they need to pen them. If the goats are pent, then they wouldn't be nuisances. It's against the law to have animals running wild. So what do you want Mitch or Kedrick to do? Use your land, fence your animals and move on.
  • hiho (03/01/2016, 13:53) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply

    if you are giving your animals and plants the street water provided you must then stop. The heavy fluoridation and treatment of the water is killing the live stock. I dont know about the goats but so far i know it has killed my fish, cat and my dog litter. My plants have been showing signs of illness from the combination of the planes that spray those chemicals to block direct sun light and the heavy metals found in the not so government owned water. Please for the sake of your health, if you dont believe me then invest in water testing equipment yourselves and test from ANY source of street water. For those of you who suffer from head aches, bone and joint problems, dry skin, fungus/acne on your backs etc.... It could be the water your skin constantly absorbs through showering. The heavy metals will get trapped and start to build up inside your body forming calcium like fragments between your bones which they mis-diagnose as arthritis just as an example. After we expose the water contamination we must also expose the quality of air in the territory, starting with the mold that is guaranteeing the hospital and nhi its income. Symptoms of being exposed to mold are similar to endless forms of illness and is probably the largest contributor to the mis-diagnosed cases in the territory leading to endless amounts of medications being prescribed for no reason other than profit.

    • pete (04/01/2016, 00:55) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Is it true that there is fluoridation in the city water? How stupid is that. Cities in the US have been taking it out because it is a toxic chemical. It is NOT a vitamin, NOT a supplement, NOT even a substance needed by the body to function. It is an endocrine inhibitor and comes from fertilizer and factory smoke stacks. Too much causes fluorosis which is marks on the teeth, is linked to gastrointestinal issues, brittle bones, lower IQ, arthritis and osteoporosis. The center for disease control just dropped the solution from 1.2 parts per million to .7 ppm. That is almost in half because of over-exposure in the environment and food chain.
      It gained popularity in the US in the 40s-60s because the sugar industry and pharmaceuticals lobbied for it. With the idea of protection the more sugar you can sell and the more money everywhere. What is in the water supply is artificial chemicals not the pharmaceutical grade "natural" substance in toothpaste, even then read the back of a toothpaste tube. It has a warning that if swallowed seek immediate medical attention. What does that tell you? So, is it true there is Fluoride in the water? Skelton was sold product like a third-world country. Bottom line, if BVI just stuck with their original diet of fish, vegetables, bush teas, and away from processed and fast foods, sugar and brushed they would be fine.
      • Water staff (04/01/2016, 15:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        There is no flouride in the water. Hiho stop publishing what you don't know. Ask questions before publishing nonsense.
    • dog (04/01/2016, 01:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      further... Fluoride is NOT Chlorine which cleans the water and guards against bacteria. It also evaporates when boiled.
      Fluoride CONCENTRATES, GETTING STRONGER. There is no way to control the dose. some will get more than they are supposed to. Would a doctor give the whole island medicine without first checking medical family histories? that would be malpractice. Yet that is what is happening. It is the ONLY SUBSTANCE added to the water to CHANGE your body whether you want it to or not. Finally, world studies have shown that decay has gone down world-wide in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries. And, Kentucky has been fluoridated for over 50 yrs and it ranks last on decay with 40% caries and loss of teeth. So why aren't their teeth protected? Because it is a scam. And people are getting sick. The state of New Hampshire has a warning on their water bills for new mothers NOT to mix baby formula with tap water because the fluoride is too strong for them. Given their body weight they are getting up to 200 times the limit. And with growing cells, this toxic substance affects growth and therefore intelligence. Like smoking, it won't kill you immediately. But it is accumulative-- over years.
  • Liat 521 (03/01/2016, 15:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    While you all meet I could do with some goad meat
  • idea (04/01/2016, 00:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Get the archery people to hunt them and sell the meat. So much hungry and poor people, you can probably donate the meat. Who the heck waste food in these hard times? When NHI done with us we will need that same meat to eat.
  • Concerned (04/01/2016, 05:28) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    To bad with this
    Yes animals need to be coralled /penned but are you conscious of the droughg that we just experienced . Can any one maintain a herd of any size on bagged food alone ? If goats roam on outer cays who do they disturd ? Get real !! Government need to come clean and treat us as adults ,B V I is not a socalist country as some of you are trying to DICTATE
    Bob Marley said "we are not ignorant"
    Please inform the people and stop this hihg handedness
  • JVD (04/01/2016, 08:41) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    at least they are seeing their district rep! I anit see Rajah in dey pic?
  • SMH (04/01/2016, 17:21) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    another publicity stunt that will not improve the standard of living of the people of the 2nd district.... food for thought....
  • Just saying (04/01/2016, 19:54) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the allegations of the goat poisoning on JVD and the surrounding areas is true, then this is serious business and warrants an investigation into the matter. In my opinion, it is very inhumane and if the perpetrators of this act is identified, then they must be brought to justice. The residents of JVD has a right to demand answers regarding this. Who the person/persons are behind this gruesome move to get rid of the goats on these islands and who granted the approval for the goats to be destroyed? It begs the question and these individuals must be identified so that a full-scale investigation can be done. Hon. Mitch, we are depending on you to stay on top of this one.


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