New policy needed for care of domestic animals

Karen de Kock, MPL

Northern Cape Legislature

Approximately 200 people in Kimberley approach animal welfare institutions every month because they cannot afford medical care for their animals. At the same time, roughly 350 pets per month are abandoned in Kimberley alone. Given that this Friday is World Animal Day, we believe that the Northern Cape Government must seriously look at improving the protection of animal rights in this province.

This problem is made worse by a lack of policy guiding animal welfare, as well as a lack of clarity on the roles and responsibilities of government entities to promote animal care.

We believe that the Northern Cape government must change its approach from the mere regulation of domestic animals.

Such an initiative is currently being spearheaded by the DA-run City of Cape Town through its draft policy on animal welfare. This can be adopted by the Northern Cape provincial government.

This new approach should include:

  1. Bringing together different stakeholders such as government departments, municipalities, police and civil society.
  2. Providing assistance to municipalities to review and strategically realign by-laws with national legislation and international principles for animal welfare.
  3. Empowering registered animal welfare institutions to play a bigger role in terms of animal control, health services, sterilisation and education.

The DA believes in a caring society. This includes a caring approach to the welfare and caring of animals. We believe that these basic steps can go a long way in making a difference.