21 December 2016
The Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Connétable Deidre Mezbourian, has made the following statement:
“Following the Court’s decision that Mr Bronx is a Pitbull terrier type, I have sought advice from the States vet, the Customs and Immigration Service, the Jersey Animal shelter and the Law Officers Department. I am now in a position to make a well-informed decision that takes into account not only the welfare of the animal in question but also any possible threat to public safety.
“I have reached the conclusion that the most appropriate course of action is to offer the return of Mr Bronx to its owner, Mr Gomes, under the agreement that stringent conditions are observed and that Mr Gomes accepts full responsibility for the dog’s behaviour. This decision has not been taken lightly and it is most certainly not to be regarded as a precedent, should similar circumstances be encountered in the future. The conditions under which Mr Bronx is to be returned have been compiled with the professional input of the agencies previously mentioned and are the result of careful consideration of this exceptional case. As is the case in the UK with similar situations, these conditions take account of legal requirements, as well as our duty to preserve the safety of the public.
“This has been a difficult and complex case, and I am grateful to the many members of the public who have expressed their views. However, I would like to leave no doubt that this decision has been reached as a result of the advice received and on consideration of the particular aspects of this case. I would also like to thank all the agencies who have worked hard to ensure that an appropriate outcome could be achieved. In particular, I am grateful to the Customs and Immigration Service, whose officers have received unwarranted public criticism for simply doing their jobs and upholding the Island’s laws.”
Mr Bronx was returned to its owner on21 December 2016.