By Néstor Alí Gómez
A traffic accident was recorded on the night of March 18th at km 133 La Virgen-San Juan del Sur highway (close to La Boca de la Montaña) when a cow crossed into the path of a black Toyota truck. The occupants of the vehicle were a group of young people who were coming from San Juan del Sur. Luckily no one in the vehicle was hurt, however the cow died at the scene of the incident.
According to statistics from the National Police, situations like this occur regularly in some sections of the roads in the Department of Rivas. Without proper care of their owners, animals (mostly cows and horses) move freely around and across the roads at any time causing these preventable incidents.
In order to prevent these types of traffic accidents on the roads, the National Police in the Department of Rivas has initiated a plan to regulate the animals roaming free on the public roads without control of their owners.
“Right now we are preparing an analysis of all road accidents in 2016, 2017 and 2018,” said Commissioner Major Yuri Valle Olivares, Chief of the National Police in the Rivas Department. In almost all municipalities (in the department) we have had accidents with livestock on the road. We have not had any deaths, according to the records, but we have had a significant number of accidents where there are cows and horses involved”, said the chief.
According to Commissioner Valle, the issue of roaming animals on the roads was already addressed with representatives from the Association of Ranchers of Rivas (ASOGARI) in order to find a joint solution to the problem. “We have already discussed this issue with the ASOGARI who have three groups; large ranchers, medium and small. The small and medium ranchers have 80% of the cattle between them. The group of large ranchers holds the other 20%,” said Valle.
As part of the strategy to solve the problem, Commissioner Valle said they are meeting with the municipal mayors. There was a meeting with the mayor of Rivas and actions were taken. In Cárdenas and Ometepe Island etc., all the roaming cattle were tied up in corrals and the mayor’s office is charging fines before for animals are returned to their owners”.
At the same time, he added,
In San Juan del Sur we already talked with the mayor’s office, but as yet no action has been taken. We are working on a suitable place to put the animals that we take off the streets. We need to do this to prevent accidents.
Commissioner Valle recommended that livestock owners take greater control of their animals, so that everyone can work together to prevent accidents and the loss of human life, or that of their valuable cows or horses.