Story by Innocent Nxumalo
THE border town of Beitbridge has resolved to firmly regulate the animal population by enforcing local authority by-laws governing the breeding of pets and other animals.
With at least four recorded cases of Zimbabweans mauled to death by dogs in 2022 and 25 thousand fatal dog attacks the world over, Beitbridge Municipality has moved in to enforce by-laws to regulate the breeding practice.
Speaking on a local radio show, Beitbridge District Veterinary Officer, Dr. Rutendo Mwaramba said the breeding profession must be certified and regulated to avoid unfortunate incidences.
“It is illegal to just breed dogs in town without a certificate. People need to be conversant with the council by-laws on how many dogs one keep and the environment assessed as well,” said Dr Mwaramba.
Beitbridge Mayor and Councillor Munyaradzi Chitsunge said the local authority has resolved to set up animal compound sites to deal with the ballooning animal population in residential areas.
“We are now referring to the legal provisions we have to deal with an animal problem. We want to bring sanity to our modernized town. The earmarked animal compounds will see us being able to impound and prefer a penalty on owners,” he said.
Beitbridge residents concurred on the need to regulate the breeding of the animals.
A resident said, ‘‘The population of straying animals is a cause of concern here in Beitbridge, you then wonder whether we are in a town or in rural areas.’’
Another resident noted, ‘‘People like breeding dogs but cannot afford stipulated standards, some don’t even bother to vaccinate their animals, thereby posing a serious risk to the public.’’
Apart from dogs, stray donkeys and cattle are a usual site in Beitbridge, hence dampening the impressive outlook of a modernised town after the implementation of the US$300 million border upgrade.