Chaining dogs against the law

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THE Komani SPCA has called on members of the public to stop chaining up their dogs.
SPCA manager Betty Cree said the number of cases involving dogs which were being tied up – often on short chains or with pieces of rope – had increased significantly in the area.
The regulations of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) indicate that animals should be free from discomfort, pain, fear, hunger, thirst and injury, and free to express normal behaviour – the latter by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
The NSPCA regulations, which are in line with the Animal Protection Act No 71 of 1962, indicate that it is a contravention of the law if someone “confines, chains, tethers or secures any animal unnecessarily or under such conditions or in such a manner or position to cause that animal unnecessary suffering or in any place which affords inadequate space, ventilation, light, protection or shelter from heat, cold or weather…”
According to the NSPCA, the owner must have sufficient space for the animal to live where it is able to express normal behaviour without chaining, caging or confining it to small, unsuitable areas.
Cree said a number of cases with dogs being chained or tied up, often without access to shade in the current heat, had been reported. Some dogs also had no water within reach.
Cree said this, at times, resulted in aggressive behaviour. While animals may be kept on a running chain of an approved length with a fitted swivel, this was still not ideal, she said.
“People should ensure their properties are suitable for dogs, including that there are no holes in fences and that gates are kept closed,” she said.
Offenders found to be contravening the stipulations for keeping an animal could be subjected to a visit by the SPCA, with failure to conform possibly resulting in the animal being removed.
Anyone wanting to report an owner whose dogs are being tied up or chained can contact the SPCA on (045) 839-2819.

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