Ricochet News

Metro to conduct comprehensive audit to address challenge of roaming livestock

May 15, 2017
Metro to conduct comprehensive audit to address challenge of roaming livestock

Following the killing of eight roaming cattle and the wounding of three others by a farmer in Uitenhage, about two weeks ago, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, on Monday addressed local media about the challenge of stray animals around the City.

Trollip said that urban livestock owners must be organised and form their own association, which will assist them being able to manage their livestock better and work with the municipality in an organised fashion.

He said an audit of livestock within the Nelson Mandela Bay will be done.

Trollip added that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will launch a comprehensive commonage land audit to address the long-standing issue of urban farming. The audit will reveal how much land is available for urban farming and if there is capacity to accommodate all the livestock in the City.

He said there was a problem with utilising land surrounding the Bay as it belonged to other municipalities.

"Many of the livestock owners don't want to be too far away from their livestock because if they are too far away from their livestock it goes missing," Trollip further said.

The Executive Mayor reaffirmed that the bylaws governing livestock owning in Nelson Mandela Bay will be strictly implemented.

"We need a much more frank and honest discussion with the livestock owners. The increasing number of livestock can no longer be sustained," said the Executive Mayor Councillor Trollip.

Commenting on the shooting of the cattle by the farmer, the Mayor said; "Nobody in the City is allowed to take the law into their own hands... And nobody in the City has a right to destroy somebody else's wealth. 

"The same applies to the people, who own the livestock. They are not allowed to let their livestock to roam and destroy other people's property."

He added; "So the question will be asked as to who was responsible for looking after that livestock? As I have said to you, in a time of drought, fences do not keep cattle. Cattle need to eat grass and they need to eat a lot of grass on a daily basis to keep themselves going. So they should have been somebody herding those cattle or sherparding them away from private property.

"This was not obviously the case and the matter has gone to court."

He said that there were some issues of concern that were raised at the court. 

One was that the accused was not arrested immediately or held in custody. Police took almost a week to arrest the 37-year-old farmer, Carlo Andries Voigt. He is currently out on bail after being released on warning to allow for further investigations.

Trollip said that the other issue was that the court case was being conducted in only one language, which the livestock owners and the community at large do not understand.