SPCA – Goodwill to our furry friends

SEASON OF GOODWILL – TO ALL ANIMALS

South Africans are asked to be sensitive, compassionate and to exert kindness throughout the festive season with regard to animals: – all animals.

One focus at this time of year is the role of food in celebrations. Consumers are asked to be responsible and to be aware of “production methods” so that their choices are informed and compassionate, generating demand and growth for humanely produced foods.

The excessive heat and the drought continue and affect animals. We ask that reports of suffering are submitted timeously. This not only relates to animals on farms but to working animals including so-called guard dogs who may be suffering on duty in adverse weather conditions.

Compassion comes in all forms and we ask for consideration towards all creatures and the promotion of responsible behaviour. Choose activities that do not exploit animals in any way. Even if an animal may not be harmed, we ask people to consider if petting lion cubs is ethical and to look at the bigger picture. This is just one example.

 

Above all, South Africans are asked to leave animals out of any festivities or promotions.

It is of grave concern that a “competition” has come to light with a live sheep as a prize. Over and above the welfare concerns are the moral issues and what this demonstrates regarding the “value” of animals. They are not commodities and this includes the age-old appeal not to give live animals as gifts.

The National Council of SPCAs and the SPCA movement operate throughout the festive season. It is the time of year when resources are stretched. Staff continue to undertake routine duties of response to information involving alleged cruelty, neglect or abuse of animals: – matters which escalate at this time. There is additional response to emergencies and also the ensuring that there is provision of care to all animals. This includes animals in “captive facilities” including laboratories.

Please ensure that any animals you may have are given the best of care. Make sure their vaccinations are up to date which is a condition of reputable boarding facilities as well as a basic precaution to ensure the animals’ well-being. It is essential that their every need is catered for whether you are with them or away during this period. Also include a back-up plan in case of injury, illness or any other unforeseen eventuality.

The public is urged to take a responsible route when adopting animals. This is where warnings are issued especially regarding online purchasing of pets. So many are advertised, so many problems arise not only in welfare terms but also documented cases of scams. Offering to meet someone in a car park to hand over an animal ought to send out warning signals. Far too often, people approach the NSPCA for assistance, having paid upfront or given cash without a receipt, only to find the animals is in extremely poor health and unable to trace the seller. BUYER BEWARE!

We recommend microchip identification as the ideal gift if an animal does not already have this form of permanent tamper-proof identification which is also proof of ownership.

Please carry the number of your local SPCA with you on your cell phone. Even if this is not the appropriate SPCA, they can forward the information quickly. Above all, please report concerns regarding abused, neglected or cruelly treated animals by phone. Every SPCA has an all-hours emergency number. E-mails and Facebook cannot be monitored around the clock and time lost in terms of response means that an animal has suffered.

The identity of an informant is always kept confidential.

A journey of a 1000 miles … the 5-year plan

‘Walk before you run’, ‘a journey of a 1000 miles starts with the one step’. There are so many similar sayings and possibly this is where the presenters of the 5-year plan possibly erred. No one can argue that Messrs. Furphy and Gray put together a well-researched plan but maybe, just maybe, they were too ambitious in their enthusiasm to help. Possibly they were looking at scaling Mount Everest before first climbing Kilimanjaro.

As important as the river, beach and spit are, surely they are the responsibility of National and Provincial Government. Whatever action is required to solve the collective beach situation this has to be passed and approved by the Department of Environmental Affairs and any action has to be in accordance with whatever the findings of EIA dictate and that could possibly run into many more millions than suggested in the 5-year plan. Certainly the SFBRA must continue to badger whoever they must to ensure the matter is dealt with as a priority but at the end of the day it really is up to either National or Provincial Government to rectify. If not then maybe the reconstruction of the Sand River bridge too, will soon appear on the list of services that cash strapped residents must end up paying for.

Before continuing, whatever money is raised from the St Francis Bay community to improve the village, surely does not absolve the council from continuing to provide services and allocating budget to ensure that these services are properly delivered. Whatever money is raised through whatever means is finally agreed on, this money should be used, for lack of a better word, to “beautify” St Francis Bay and make it a better place to live.

So what are the things that residents can reasonably consider as affordable? Take away the costs river, beach and spit and we are left with

Cost of Infrastructure Repair & Maintenance

  • Roads (30kms)                 = R19.2m
  • Stormwater drains repairs (existing) = R400k
  • Stormwater drains new (budget) = R1.5m
  • Sewerage vehicles (tbc)                 = R1m (This is the responsibility of Council)
  • Sewerage line extensions =?

Total (5 years)   = R22.1m

Let’s call this “Project Kilimanjaro”!

The following is a rather uneducated suggestion but then too are some the figures submitted in the 5-year plan. We look forward to someone well versed in financial matter to possibly take this on as a pet project and investigate this further.

Something to start with.

Let us say the average value of houses in St Francis bay is R3.5 million – (R3.5m x no of properties x rates) or R3.5 x  1550 x 0.6% = R32.5 million – a little less than the R37million that was suggested at the presentation as what St Francis Bay pay Kouga in rates each year but we are ignoring business and industrial property for the moment. Now if each homeowner were to be asked to contribute just 0.12% of the value of their property over a period of 5-years the calculation would look like this:-

3.5m x 0.12% x 5 = R x 5 = R32.5 million – enough to cover the upgrades (R22,1million) to all the services suggested in the 5-year plan with money to spare to ensure the services are properly maintained into the future.

So what does it mean to the man in the street? A simple table!

Contributuion

A very simplistic assessment certainly but maybe as stated earlier, possibly someone qualified in this area could take this on as a project to more accurately calculate the sort of contribution that would be necessary and pass it on to SFBRA, who knows, it may assist them. And it could cost residents substantially less if business and industrial property rates are factored into the equation.

Certainly it would still be sensible to register St Francis Bay as a SID but the figures could be a lot less “scary” than a double rates bill every month that seemed to be the suggestion on the table at the presentation of the 5-year plan.

Just a thought!