R30?mln to combat stock theft

2013-06-05 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture is going to spend millions of rand to combat stock theft, says MEC Meshack Radebe.

Speaking during the department’s 2013/14 budget tabling at the legislature yesterday, Radebe revealed that his department could spend in excess of R30 million in the next financial year to combat stock theft.

“The theft of livestock is continuing unabated and is causing challenges and even conflicts within the communities; the legal identification of animals are a known measure in reducing livestock theft,” he said.

The money will be spent on branding and tracking livestock.

He said as part of the anti-theft measures, 1 600 branding marks will be distributed to dip tanks associations across the province and will include branding irons, which will cost about R864 000, and ear tags that will cost in the region of R15 million for the cattle in the province.

“If these fail, we should seriously consider using electronic chips to track lost or stolen livestock,” he said.

“The estimated cost of inserting the chips could be about R22,5 million for about 150 000 cattle across the province. If this goes ahead, it will be completed within the next five years,” Radebe added.

Radebe said unidentified animals are a cause for concern in the province as stray animals cause accidents on public roads, which often result in fatalities.

He said there were plans to build pounds across all district municipalities.

He also raised concerns about rhino poaching, saying additional funding of just over R28 million had been provided by the Provincial Treasury to combat the scourge of rhino poaching.

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