DA condemns mass poisoning of National Bird

Ismail Obaray, MPL

DA Northern Cape Spokesperson on Environment:

The DA condemns the allegedly deliberate poisoning of large numbers of Blue Crane birds, in the Richmond area.

The Blue Crane is our National Bird, and is a national treasure deserving of protection and conservation.

I have referred this incident to SPCA.

While reasons for the killing of these birds on a farm in Richmond are still unclear, it remains a great concern for vast numbers of the National Bird to be exterminated in this fashion.

The Northern Cape has only about 5 000 of these birds, and if 1000 have been killed in Richmond, we have lost 20% of our Blue Cranes.

The DA calls for the farmer responsible to be identified and charged for this horrific crime believed to span almost three years.

It is clear that his act goes against animal protection, nature conservation, environmental management, land use and poison management legislation.

The same fate was forced upon the flamingo birds in Kamfersdam about two years ago.

The DA further joins the call by environmental and conservation groups for stronger enforcement of existing conservation laws, development of a coordinated plan to halt the poisoning of cranes, adoption of habitat management programs on farms and other private lands and the threats posed by poisoning and commercial afforestation and the development of educational programs specifically directed toward private landowners, farm labourers and students.

The Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conversation must also step in to ensure that the perpetrator of this shocking crime is brought to book.

The DA will continue to follow up with the SPCA and the provincial department.