Metro wants to audit all commonage

2017-05-18 06:00
One of the big issues in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole is that stock owners do not hire land, and do not pay for services or water or grazing.PHoto: Werner Hills

One of the big issues in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole is that stock owners do not hire land, and do not pay for services or water or grazing.PHoto: Werner Hills

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An audit of all available commonage in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro is to be done, as the number of cattle and stray animals has become a source of concern.

Mayor Athol Trollip says that in the last audit done, there were 37 different smallholder and farming associations with approximately 7 000 animals in Walmer, Motherwell, Despatch and KwaNobuhle.

Trollip says he has had a meeting with the metro’s cattle owners, and has requested that they establish a farmers’ association or an urban cattle owners’ association because the municipality cannot confer with each cattle owner individually.

The request for an audit follows after 11 cattle were allegedly shot dead in the Kruisrivier area just outside Uitenhage.

André Voigt (37) of Kruisrivier appeared in court last week on charges of unlawful discharge of a firearm and transgression of the Animal Protection Act.

“The recent case of the 11 cattle that were shot is a question of frustration of the land-owner who says his property is being occupied by stray animals.”

Trollip opines that this action is unacceptable because nobody may take the law into their own hands, but owners of livestock must not allow their animals to destroy other people’s property.

“One of the big issues in our metro is that stock owners do not hire land, and do not pay for services or water or grazing,” he said.

When there is no grass, as at present in this time of drought, cattle will move towards where there is grass.

It is exacerbated by the fact that stock owners allow their cattle to move through urban areas.

“They cut through fences. The weekend before last I received information of a large dam of water at the Arlington tip, and a large leak in a pipeline. We established that the stock owners had broken the pipeline by means of a pick to obtain water for their stock.

“We have deliberate destruction of municipal infrastructure by stock owners.

“In the Uitenhage area I saw how a main sewerage pipe had been chopped open so that the sewage could flow and cause the grass to grow for the cattle to feed on it,” said Trollip.

He added that the department of public health did not have a budget to handle stray animals.

Stray animals are loaded on to a trailer and brought to the municipal pound at the SPCA Uitenhage. Deirdré Swift, SPCA Chairperson said that almost 20 head of cattle had been brought in since the pound was reopened.

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