Farmers face further stock losses as cold follows fires
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Farmers in central South Africa, which have recently had to endure raging veld fires which devastated farmland and caused financial losses, are now facing bitingly cold conditions with an increased threat of further losses, warned the Farm Animal Protection Unit of the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA).
Veld fires in July destroyed infrastructure, farmland and livestock on about 67 000 hectares of land, leading to financial losses to farmers and communities.
Grace de Lange, the unit’s manager, said on Friday:“It is absolutely heart-breaking to witness the devastation on the farmers’ faces as well as those of our inspectors, when the animals can’t be saved due to the severity of their conditions.”
She said due to the fires on one farm a farmer had lost a thousand sheep.
De Lange also told Business Report that over the past five years they had had to put down over a thousand livestock because they had suffered bad burns.
The organisation urged farmers to take the responsibility by applying measures that could prevent great devastation for farms and livestock.
The NSPCA plays a critical role during disasters such as fires and floods to save and treat wild animals, which are often unable to escape due to the magnitude and speed of the disaster, or because they were trapped by fences and other boundaries. They also help during times when adverse weather threatens the lives of such animals.
Roelie van Reenen, the supply chain executive at Beefmaster Group, said he believed that animal losses during the most recent fire outbreak would have been even more severe had it not been for the enormous task undertaken by the NSPCA.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE