Prestbury police confiscated 20 dogs on Wednesday morning after five children were found walking them near the railway tracks in the area.
Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said the incident had been reported on Wednesday morning, with the children thought by locals to be hunting illegally.
Ngobese said police searched the area and did not find evidence of any hunting weapons or animal carcasses where the children were spotted.
He said the children were taken to the station for questioning, but police and staff from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife could find no evidence of illegal hunting.
“The dogs looked very tired and sick,” said Ngobese. He said the dogs were taken to the Pietermaritzburg SPCA for safe-keeping.
He said the children were taken back to Dambuza, near Edendale, where police spoke to their parents about the incident.
He said an inquiry had been opened to monitor the situation.
Pietermaritzburg SPCA chief inspector Rose Stafford said the dogs were at the SPCA and were being checked for any health issues.
World’s View Conservancy chairperson Hugh Temple said illegal hunting was a major issue, especially in the World’s View area.
“We have been dealing with this seriously over the last two weeks. We have had packs and hunters in the conservancy almost every day and sometimes twice a day.
“They have almost decimated the wildlife in the area,” said Temple.
He said that the conservancy would be working with an environmental organisation in the next few weeks in educating people on the issues surrounding illegal hunting and the consequences.