FROM the keeping and slaughter of chickens, pigs, cows, goats and sheep, residents under the Msunduzi Municipality residents may have to forward their applications to the local authorities for approval as part of the Public Health by-laws by the municipality’s environmental health unit. The 28-page report on the keeping and slaughtering of animals is under the community services portfolio committee. At this stage the committee had recommended that the public health by-laws involving the keeping of animals and slaughter of animals be reviewed and that comments be submitted to the Executive Committee (Exco). This by-law has not yet appeared before Exco and therefore has not been noted or adopted as a draft. A by-law is a law made by a local authority. The report states that people who wish to slaughter an animal need to notify the municipality in writing within 14 days prior to the event and will not be allowed to keep such animal prior to slaughtering for longer than 24 hours. Moreover, as soon as the animal has been slaughtered and flayed the slaughter man shall clearly mark the carcass with the registered mark of the owner of the animal. The by-law also allows for inspection of the meat. If meat is found to be unfit for human consumption, the meat shall be seized by authorised officers. The report states that if it is gathered that the keeping of an authorised animal, such as poultry or rabbits, causes nuisance or danger to the public health, the health official may cancel the permit or prohibit the keeping of such poultry or rabbits. According to the report cattle, horses, mules and donkeys could only be kept in stables or enclosures that have every wall and partition constructed of brick, stone, concrete or durable material, internal wall should have smooth brick or durable surface with a smooth finish, enough water for drinking and that all feeds be kept in a rodent-proof storeroom with close fitting lids, to mention few requirements. The by-law prohibits the keeping of more than 10 poultry in a township or 100 poultry on agricultural zoned area without permit and that poultry keepers should ensure that the poultry do not disturb or hinder the comfort, convenience, peace and quiet of the public. The by-law also prohibits the keeping of wild animals without approval from nature conservation authorities and that no person may keep animals which are a danger to people, without permit from an environmental officer, which include and not limited to large, carnivorous, venomous snakes, spiders and scorpions. The by-law also makes it mandatory for the sterilisation of all bitches, except those registered and licensed as breeding animals. As a by-law, the document is expected to be open for public comment at an appropriate time proposed by council. Culture expert Ndela Ntshangase said the by-laws have been put in place to ensure health standards. “When people slaughter animals there are those who disregard health standards. What the municipality is planning to introduce is for health and hygienic reasons. Notifying them that you will slaughter is not a crime because in the rural areas the same custom is practised. This is not something new. However, refusing people to slaughter might be a problem,” said Ntshangase.