Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Anthrax outbreak (Dogs) / Zimbabwe

AT LEAST 20 dogs are being shot daily in Masvingo in a controversial operation by the town council, police and veterinary services to curb the spread of anthrax, it emerged on Monday. Since February 13, police sharp shooters accompanied by municipal security guards have been mowing down unaccompanied dogs.

But some residents complain that their dogs have been shot indiscriminately during the exercise which will run until March 14. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has admitted that it was on board with the operation.

The organisation, which traditionally offers refuge to stray animals, says lack of funding has curtailed its work. John Chikomo, the SPCA’S regional manager for Masvingo, said they were against “indiscriminate shooting of stray dogs”, but said they were powerless to stop the exercise because they lacked an alternative strategy to the one pursed by local authorities owing to “resource challenges”. Ernest Chadamana, a resident of the Rhodene neighbourhood, told how his dog was shot after it strayed meters from his yard.

“That is cruelty of the highest order, and I wonder what SPCA is doing in that taskforce,” he said. One resident from Mucheke suburb told how his dog jumped a perimeter wall to mate with a bitch which was on heat next door. Read More