Concerned livestock owners who visited the municipal-owned pound claimed to have made some shocking discoveries when they found some sheep and goats at the pound dead and ill last week.
One of the owners who did not want to be identified said the visit followed after some of his livestock went missing in Lesseyton. “After searching for the 12 missing goats, one of the men received a lead that the goats were at the pound. We communicated with an official from the municipality and, in the process of identifying and getting our livestock back, we noticed that the animals were not well kept.”
Lack of adequate food or veterinary care and dirty conditions were some of the terms used by the owners to describe the conditions under which the animals were living. “We had to contact the SPCA to intervene. People at the pound told us there was no feed for the animals because they were not getting money from the municipality. Our goats are still there because we still have this challenge. We can’t take livestock that will later die,” said the owner.
SPCA inspector Chissano Sana confirmed that the SPCA had visited the pound last week and had discovered that the animals were living under poor conditions. “We saw there was no food for the animals and we had to call a state vet. We had to put some of the animals down as they were suffering from malnutrition and some could not even walk.” Sana did not want to reveal the number of animals put down but said upon engaging with the pound master it was uncovered that he had to take money out of his own pocket to buy feed. He added that communication with the person responsible for the pound was unsuccessful. “We managed to organise lucerne for the remaining animals and are currently in talks with the municipality. The SPCA will take drastic action on the matter,” he said
Responding to questions sent to Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, spokesperson Gcobani Msindwana, said there was a budget for feeding at the municipal pound on the equitable share every year. “The municipality appointed three service providers for supply and delivery of lucerne for a period of two years.” Msindwana further indicated that there was a disease at the pound to which some of the animals had succumbed. “The department of agriculture and a state vet were consulted by the pound master to assist. Owners must consult the community services department with any queries,” said Msindwana.