Press release - Assistance of the Cayman Islands to British Overseas Territories (Cayman Island Government), 20 Sept 2017
In light of the current circumstances, due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria on the British Overseas Territories (BOTs), namely the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla, the Cayman Islands Government acknowledges the difficulties faced by persons wishing to relocate temporarily with their children and pets. As the Ministry with oversight of Education, Youth, and Agriculture, two proposals to provide temporary provisions to alleviate these difficulties were presented and approved by Cabinet.
In regard to children of compulsory school age (5-17 years old)
Spaces in Government schools have been temporarily opened and school fees have been waived for BOT evacuees who wish to attend Government schools. Students will be allowed to attend Government schools for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year. Students who wish to attend private schools must liaise directly with the private school and incur their specific fee requirements.
The Department of Education Services (DES) is advising that the application and registration process to assist those students requesting admission to Government schools will begin immediately. However, in order to ensure that the process runs smoothly, submissions of completed registration forms and available supporting documentation must be forwarded to DES for processing as soon as possible. Registration forms and information are available for pick up at DES or may be downloaded from their website
In regard to pets (dogs and cats only) accompanying evacuees,
The Department of Agriculture has commissioned a temporary quarantine facility for those pets that do not meet the current import conditions: permanent identification with a microchip, current rabies vaccination, current rabies antibody titre test to check for protective antibodies against rabies, and treatment against internal and external parasites (ticks and tapeworms). Dart Real Estate has provided the facility at no charge to Government in an effort to assist hurricane evacuees during this challenging time. This facility has a full perimeter security fence and an internal fenced area that would be suitable for exercising the animals. A section of the building is air conditioned and partitioned and would be suitable for housing the animals. There will be specific operating procedures followed and all animals would be categorized as follows:
- Category 1: Fully meets current import requirements – immediate release.
- Category 2: Pets only requiring tick and tapeworm treatment – treat and release after 24 hours.
- Category 3: Pets with proof of current rabies vaccination but no rabies titer test – perform tests and release on receiving successful rabies titer results. Length of stay in quarantine is results based with a minimum expected period being 14 days.
- Category 4: Pets with no proof of rabies vaccination – Vaccinate for rabies, adhere to prescribed waiting period of 30 days post rabies vaccination, perform rabies titer test and release on receiving successful rabies titer results. Length of stay in quarantine is expected to be a period no less than 44 days.
- Category 5: Dogs classified as prohibited breeds under the current Animals Law and Regulations regardless of which of the above categories they are assigned to, will have to remain in quarantine until they are exported
- Category 6: Animals of BOT evacuees which have entered the quarantine directly via non-British Overseas Territory countries will be assessed in accordance with procedures outlined above. However, the duration of quarantine will be determined based on a minimum stay of 90 days from the date of the blood draw which resulted in a successful titre result.
As a goodwill gesture, the Cayman Islands Government will be responsible for the daily maintenance costs of running the quarantine facility such as feeding, walking, and cleaning the animals, and providing 24-hour security. The pet owners will be financially responsible for all procedures required for their animal to qualify for quarantine and the provision of routine preventative medications (e.g. Heartworm prevention) while in quarantine.
Honourable Juliana O’Connor Connolly, Minister for Education and Agriculture, shares her support for the temporary provisions, “Having been through Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Paloma, I can empathise with the British Overseas Territories, and I pray that they remain strong and have faith that their countries will be restored. It is during these difficult times, we must come together and support our fellow Caribbean neighbours and provide them a place of respite.”
The Ministry and Department of Agriculture are appreciative for the quick response from Dart Real Estate in providing a quarantine facility free of charge and the various animal welfare organisations and individuals that have assisted with donations or loans of supplies needed for the facility.
For general information on the quarantine facility, please contact Brian Crichlow , Assistant Director of the Department of Agriculture
For persons seeking to import pets please request the paperwork by emailing