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KOUGA Municipality is looking at different approaches to find a permanent solution for roaming animals across the region.

Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson, said roaming animals were a serious threat to public safety and had been highlighted as a matter of concern by residents.

“The municipality has been leading investigations to find a lasting solution – especially now that there is no pound for stray animals,” he said.

“We have already engaged with roleplayers such as livestock owners in order to get a better understanding of the challenges and are working closely with the municipality’s law enforcement unit to identify and implement solutions.”

He said possible solutions include the establishment of a municipal-run pound or a pound managed by the SPCA Assisi in Humansdorp. The third option is a privately owned pound in the region.

Benson said two of the challenges identified, are the shortage of commonage land for local upcoming farmers and the easy availability of calves for purchase.

“This means that when animals are impounded, livestock owners simply buy new calves as this is cheaper than paying the fine and transport their confiscated cattle from the pound,” he said. “If we are going to stop this from happening, we need the support of the wider farming community and will be engaging with them as well.

“Furthermore, more education will be done in our communities on how to care for animals and the dangers they pose to residents once they are let loose and left unsupervised.”

Benson encouraged all livestock owners to ensure that their animals do not wander around unattended and that they are properly branded.

“Ultimately, it is the responsibility of livestock owners to keep their animals from damaging other people’s property and roaming around in the road, where they can cause serious accidents,” he said.

The keeping of livestock is subject to municipal by-laws such as the Road and Traffic by-law and Prevention of Public Nuisance and Keeping of Animals by-law. In terms of municipal notice 109/2016, published on 13 October, livestock owners have been granted seven days to comply with the by-laws, failing which their animals will be impounded.