Mangaung By-Laws Comments

 

 

 

 

In response to the draft by-laws for Mangaung, the following comments/suggestions were made by a DA councillor. I do wish politicians would consult with those who have some knowledge of the variables, I came across this information due to a vigilant Hopeful member. These were the suggestions and my responses (in italics)

1. Each site within a formal/informal and traditional residential area, commercial area and industrial area may only keep a maximum of four pets. (Exceptions will only be made if approved by the municipality. No discounts on licensing fees. Licensing fees must be paid in full) This is effectively a pet limit law, and it should be obvious that the number of pets someone can keep is dependant on factors like affordability, responsibility, space, facilities and knowledge. I myself have eight dogs. Setting arbitrary limits is illogical, since the variability of the above factors is almost infinite. To use only one factor as a governing or controlling method is absurd – people having only one animal may be guilty of neglect or cruelty, reducing numbers has no effect whatsoever, and effectively penalises people who can afford it and in addition reduces the community’s ability to absorb excess population caused by indiscriminate breeding . Focus on the root cause, not the symptom…
2. The pet must be sterilised (To curb unwanted dogs and cats and to keep pets from running around)(The owner must provide a veterinary booklet or a letter from a registered veterinary proving sterilisation.) This is effectively mandatory sterilisation and it is hopelessly unrealistic. The cost of sterilisation is prohibitive and most people simply cannot afford it.
3. The pet must be up to date on its annual inoculations (To curb outbreaks of illnesses, rabies etc within MMM)(The owner must provide a veterinary booklet or a letter from a registered veterinary proving annual inoculations.) “Annual” inoculations are no longer necessary. Please read my booklet and guidelines on this here: http://hopeful.ws/arf/forumdisplay.php?fid=52
4. The pet must have an identification chip (To be able to track down the owners of pets if they are found in the streets)(The owner must provide a veterinary booklet or a letter from a registered veterinary proving that the pet has got an identification chip.) The expense involved is beyond many people’s budgets and if the property is suitably fenced or walled and the owners are responsible, unnecessary. None of my dogs are chipped because there is not the slightest possibility that they can get out. You’re adding expenses, making pet ownership more of a burden, instead of making sure the absolute necessities are taken care of.
5. The owner must provide a certificate from the municipality confirming their breeding operation is according to standards set by the Animal Protection Act. The APA sets no standards for animal husbandry – it is legislation that covers neglect and cruelty.
6. The pet must be sterilised/ or if female injected with contraceptive. (To curb unwanted dogs and cats and to keep pets from running around)(The owner must provide a veterinary booklet or a letter from a registered veterinary proving sterilisation/ contraceptive or a letter from an animal welfare organisation/ individual registered with the municipality stating that the pet has been injected with contraceptive.) Female contraceptive injections are not yet scientifically proven or vetted for SA and are not readily available as far as I know? Please provide sources if you know different? Again, this rule is completely unrealistic – if indigent people cannot afford licence fees how in the world will they be able to afford sterilisation?
7. The municipality will issue a certificate confirming their (welfare) operation is according to standards set by the Animal Protection Act. APA is not a welfare standards document.
8. All organisations must register their fosters with the municipality. (The reason for this is that fosters do not pay licensing fees for the animals they foster. So if a foster is not registered, individuals can state they are a foster to not pay licensing fees) This will be cumbersome and burdensome, since the number of fosters changes constantly – the admin will be a nightmare. Rather register once they are adopted.
9. If licenses and added interest are not paid after 60 days animals will be confiscated. Disagree. You are making financial ability the determining factor of the worthiness of the owner – this is elitist and discriminatory.
10. After three months of non payment of penalties and added interest, may result in the account holder’s water supply being disconnected. WHAT?? How does not paying a license enable you to deprive someone of a basic human right? How does this benefit ANYONE?
11. No sterilisation: Thirty days to rectify situation. After thirty days R1000.00 fine per pet. After sixty days R1500.00 fine per pet and pets will be confiscated. Ridiculous rule. Adds punishment to burden that most will not be able to comply with.
12.
1. If an indigent household within the boundaries of Mangaung Metro Municipality has pets that do not conform to the registration and licensing by-law the following will apply:
a. No sterilisation/ Injection with contraceptive:
Thirty days to rectify situation. After thirty days R100.00 fine per pet. After sixty days R150.00 fine per pet and pets will be confiscated.
b. No annual inoculations:
Thirty days to rectify situation. After thirty days R100.00 fine per pet. After sixty days R150.00 fine per pet and pets will be confiscated.
c. No identification chip:
Thirty days to rectify situation. After thirty days R100.00 fine per pet. After sixty days R150.00 fine per pet and pets will be confiscated.
2. Shelters/Fosters within the boundaries of Mangaung Metro Municipality
a. None registration as shelter/foster:
Thirty days to rectify the situation. After thirty days R500.00 fine per pet sheltered or fostered. After sixty days R800.00 fine per pet and the pets will be confiscated.
b. Fosters fostering pets longer than three weeks:
Three weeks to rectify the situation. After three weeks R500.00 fine per pets and the animals will be confiscated.
I have not commented further because this penalty section is not very well thought through and it was clearly formulated by someone with means. It needs to be dumped and reengineered from the start.
13. Licensing Fee: R240.00 annually per pet and R360.00 per dog/cat if you are a breeder annually. This is prohibitive: the fee should be nominal, less than R50

I did not receive a response from the DA councillor, but it is worrying that politicians have so little understanding of the realities of the circumstances people face on the ground, and even less understanding of the world of animal welfare and animal welfare legislation. Effectively, they are just getting in the way.

Derek

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