Rabies: KZN wants mandate to seize pets

2012-06-26 22:34

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal's anti-rabies task team is to seek a mandate to enter any home to seize cats or dogs suspected of not being vaccinated against rabies.

Agriculture and Environment MEC Meshack Radebe said on Tuesday the team was preparing to approach the High Court in a bid to obtain an order giving officials such authority.

He made this announcement as he visited a 4-year-old boy fighting for his life at Durban's Prince Mshiyeni Hospital.

The boy is the fourth victim of rabies in the province, with three others having succumbed to the disease this year.

Last week, the provincial cabinet formed a task team consisting of Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dlomo, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu, Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube, Finance MEC Ina Cronje and Radebe.

The department has so far vaccinated more than 45 000 cats and dogs.

This figure excludes private vaccinations and those done by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Radebe said the province would embark on an R850 000 advertising campaign to make people aware of the need to have their pets vaccinated.

  • annettevanrensburg - 2012-06-26 22:45

    Education, Education and more education please

  • Tommo - 2012-06-26 22:57

    Seize pets and rabid ANCYL members at the same time...

  • Justin.D.Glenn - 2012-06-26 23:10

    Something needs to be addressed regarding the cost of the treatment of humans, It can only be treated in hospitals. I was biten and went to a local private hospital. My initial treatment cost R4 500.00 with 5 follow ups of R815.00. The 1st visit drained whats left of my daily savings account on my medical and I still have to pay more in. What about those that do not have medical aid. There should be some emergency fund to subsidise this. If I went to a state hospital I would have to prove that I am unemployed.

      Pixie86 - 2012-06-27 05:45

      that's what public hospitals are for

      matthew.rensburg.1 - 2012-06-27 07:15

      public not just for unemploted. its for anyone who wants it.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-06-27 08:35

      You were ripped off Justin.

  • wayne2710 - 2012-06-26 23:20

    This is akin to the Nazis during World War 2. If responsible pet owners who don't let their pets out in the streets do not want to vaccinate them, they should not have to. Vaccinations have their own risks.

      lourens.erasmus2 - 2012-06-27 00:39

      Responsible pet owners get their animals vaccinated. You are saying you keep your dogs locked up in your yard all of the time, never take them for a walk. If you do take your animals for a walk(like responsible pet owners do) something as simple as smelling where the previous dog urinated can infect them with rabies. Even if you keep them looked up it can still be spread by rats and mice, all mammals are susceptible to rabies. Please go and see a few videos on what animals(people as well) infected with rabies have to go through till they die, it is not a pretty sight. Then tell me you still think it is better not to vaccinate your pets because you read on some pseudo science website vaccination are a way for big pharma to scam money out of people and it does more harm than good. P.S. I do believe the power in question of just being able to confiscate pets without consultation with the owners is over the top and should not be granted by the high court.

      sam.barker.7796 - 2012-06-27 10:54

      Rabies is a public health issue and it shouldn't be optional for pet owners to choose whether to vaccinate. Not vaccinating your pets could place countless others at risk. Nothing to do with Nazis, ferheavensakes. You also need to get over this 'vaccinations have their own risks' nonsense. Sure, someone might be allergic, but believe me the risks of NOT vaccinating are so infinitely much higher than this kind of pernicketiness is more than laughable. Having said that, it is way over the top for the authorities to be empowered to 'enter homes and seize pets SUSPECTED of not being vaccinated' and I seriously hope that the high court recognises this. No authorities are constitutionally empowered to 'enter homes' except under very specific and clearly defined circumstances. @bobilus: rabies cannot be transmitted by merely smelling urine. The most common transmission is via saliva, by means of a bite, but exposure of an open wound to infected saliva or other tissue such as brain matter is necessary in order to become infected. Even direct contact with an infected animal, including with its urine, unless you have a wound, is not going to transmit the disease.

  • janet.mcdonaldbelstead - 2012-06-26 23:51

    There are more deaths per annum from other diseases (ie. HIV) yet they would rather spend R850k on advertising to draw your attention to Rabies (which has infected or killed a massive total of 3 or 4 people so far) instead of focussing on what is important to the majority? Makes you wonder where the priorities lie. Is this a case of "small things amuse small minds?"

      lourens.erasmus2 - 2012-06-27 00:24

      The problem with rabies is, it is incurable, 99.9% mortality rate if infection reaches the brain. When symptoms start showing it is already too late. It is also a horrible way to go. That is why spending a measly R850K on awareness is a good idea.

      mariska.stephens - 2012-06-27 05:02

      Obviously the goal of this campaign is to prevent a total outbreak of this deadly disease. The mere fact that Government is even willing to spend this much money, should indicate to you how serious it really is.

      Pixie86 - 2012-06-27 05:42

      so how would you feel if you came back from work and heard your child was attacked by a rabied dog? There's a difference in how HIV and rabies are contracted. I'd say a rabied dog is more dangerous. Did you read the part about the 4 year old fighting for his life? How do you protect yourself from a rabied dog? Wearing a condom won't help. You're narrow minded.

      Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-06-27 06:43

      I doubt you would be saying that if you got rabbis yourself! Better to fight the battle then lose lives

      garthandjackie - 2012-06-27 09:24

      Well Janet ... I am gobsmacked ...I hope you don't have children because if they get bitten and get rabies you as there "kind" "caring" mother would do what exactly ....probably be on forums like this begging for someone to help, probably be ranting about why people haven't seen to their pets ...calling for blood ....makes me wonder where YOUR priorities are YOUR small mind!

      sam.barker.7796 - 2012-06-27 10:57

      You're either very naive or very, very ignorant, janet. This is a completely ridiculous stance - I suggest you go and do a little research, because all you've done, and pretty effectively, is look foolish.

  • Korathias - 2012-06-27 00:40

    The thing is that. One the article does not state what will happen to the pets seized. Two are they making the vaccinations free of charge at all vets or do people have to fork out even more money that they are strapped for and lastly do they understand the fury they will receive from people when someone takes there companion.

      mariska.stephens - 2012-06-27 04:47

      It is required that all dogs get these vaccinations anyway. If you choose to be a dog owner its your responsibility. Money should not be an excuse. By not giving the pets the vaccines, people are putting their pets and other people's lives at risk, so if you care that much about your dog you would \fork out the money\.

      Pixie86 - 2012-06-27 05:38

      rabies shots at public vets are free. You don't pay a cent. FREE!!!

  • Adil Smit - 2012-06-27 07:27

    No,rather do your jobs and vaccinate the pets, not "seize" them to kill them.

  • Mandy - 2012-06-27 07:30

    They want a mandate to be able to enter my property, and seize my pets if they SUSPECT they haven't been innoculated? For the record, my animals get their vaccinations yearly, but they will be opening a pandora's box here that they won't be able to close. Beloved pets will be confiscated and taken where?? The SPCA's that are already full of unwanted pets? why not just vaccinate them there and then instead of conviscating? If a stranger were to enter my property and forcefully try to remove them they WILL attack, don't try and sue me or put my animal to sleep for your own stupidity.

      Mike - 2012-06-27 08:30

      This is precisely what I am concerned about Mandy. Can you imagine the number of bogus officials that are going to arise if this bunch is given authority to enter our houses at will! If they suspect the animals have not been vaccinated they should be able to demand proof from the owner within X number of days, failing which then more drastic measures can be taken such as re-vaccination etc. To allow blanket authority to enter a premises on an abitrarily based judgement is looking for serious trouble.

  • dianne.b.hartley - 2012-06-27 07:56

    If one has proof that the pets had the vaccine within the past few months theres no way the authorities can take the pets just because they 'suspect' the animal is infected.

  • dianne.b.hartley - 2012-06-27 07:56

    If one has proof that the pets had the vaccine within the past few months theres no way the authorities can take the pets just because they 'suspect' the animal is infected.

  • carli.fourie.3 - 2012-06-27 08:47

    Well, I think this is a GREAT idea. At least they are trying to do something, and are not just sitting back and cashing in our tax money. In Botswana, the government-vet goes to every town and gives the rabies-vaccination once a year. They then paint a red spot onto the pet's head. Police officials goes to every house the weeks following the visit from the vet, to check if every animal on the premises has a red spot. If they don't have, they first demand to see the vet-record book. If it transpired that the animal did not receive the rabies injection, they put the dog/cat out immediatly. It is drastic, but very effective.

  • ericvb - 2012-06-27 09:06

    You can't just enter a house and take peoples' beloved animals. Find another solution (there are many).

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-06-27 11:44

    If you love your pets, then get them vaccinated. This is not a bad idea.

  • karen.seoighe - 2012-06-27 13:03

    The government should address rabies by both vaccination AND STERILISATION campaigns. It is hard for low-income families to look after their pets properly if they keep on multiplying. Having more animals sterilised will result in fewer strays roaming around and causing problems through bites and disease.

  • Rebecca - 2012-06-27 16:18

    I think the R850 000 should rather be spent on vaccinating animals than advertising. If you had the cash to be able to afford the vaccinations I am sure the mass majority would do it. Telling people they must vaccinate when they don’t even have enough money to cover their own daily meal will do nothing at getting the disease back under control. Free vaccinations is the only way; as people without money are still not going to vaccinate even if you put a billboard up under their noses.

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