Concern over cattle roaming city

2017-02-09 09:26
Cattle roam freely on the corner of Mbubu and Thorpe Lane in Boughton.

Cattle roam freely on the corner of Mbubu and Thorpe Lane in Boughton. (Supplied )

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Cattle owners have again been warned to stop allowing their cattle to roam the streets or face prosecution.

It’s a growing problem with mounting concerns about the ‘free-range’ cattle on roads posing a danger to those in cars and motorbikes.

A Boughton resident who asked not to be named said he had recently moved to the area and was worried about livestock roaming around roads there day and night — sometimes in the area’s thick mist — unattended.

Pound master Bruce Mattison told The Witness that they are called out almost every day to impound cattle.

“This is an issue. Msunduzi Traffic Department should deal with the animals once they get into or around town. We try and help where we can as much as possible,” he said.

Mattison said cattle owners are obliged to pay R60 for every day their cattle spend in the pound.

A resident of Prestbury said there is a large black bull that often stands in their road.

“It’s so hard to see it at night. It’s really dangerous. We are worried we could hit it with disastrous results.”

The African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa), which aims to commercialise the developing agricultural sector, feels some small scale farmers are either ignorant or uneducated about taking care of their livestock.

Provincial secretary Thubelihle Zondi said cattle roaming around contribute to stock theft in the province, which has been an ongoing issue.

“It is worrying and disheartening to see animals on the streets. When we see the cattle we try and locate owners through local committees.

“But most of the cattle are not even branded, which makes it difficult to link them to their rightful owners. We urge cattle owners to look after their livestock.

“However, bylaws need to play their role — they must be tightened.”

He equated the loss of a cow to the loss of R10 000.

Zondi said Afasa was planning to approach commercial farmers to assist developing farmers to teach them how to take care of the livestock and ensure their safety.

The issue of cattle roaming on the N3 has also been raised.

N3 Toll Concession revealed that roaming cattle have indeed caused accidents on the highway.

N3TC’s Con Roux said the presence of cattle on the N3 was not a frequent occurrence.

“What helps is that we do route patrols to monitor anything that might obstruct traffic.

“We usually call for the cattle to be impounded. The community and cattle owners have a responsibility to ensure that we avoid destruction on the highway.”

Roux urged motorists to reduce speed especially after dark, as it might be difficult to see animals wandering around.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said according to the city’s bylaws, people are not allowed to “turn loose or allow to wander in any street or public place, any horse, cattle, donkey, pig, sheep or goat”, and any animal found, may be impounded.

She said anyone who contravenes or fails to comply with the bylaw or any notice issued will be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to pay a fine.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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