May soon be mandatory for cats, dogs over six months old in Cape Town to be sterilised
Cape Town - Animal welfare organisations have lauded the City’s draft of the revised Animal Keeping Policy that is out for public comment until May 17.
Safety and Security portfolio committee chairperson Mzwakhe Nqavashe said the updated policy seeks to provide a clear guide to animal owners or care-givers, breeders of animals and the public on how to apply the “duty to care” principle to all animals within the city.
“The City and animal welfare organisations are increasingly spending huge amounts of budgets on health and safety programmes dedicated to animals. We have also seen an increase in the number of complaints around animal welfare, which is placing immense pressure on the SPCA and other organisations in the animal welfare sector, but also the City’s law enforcement,” he said.
Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said the policy was a step in the right direction.
“We appreciate the acknowledgement of the immense work done by the SPCA, and we encourage the public to get involved in reviewing and commenting on the draft policy as well, as this document will provide the context for animal-keeping by-laws relating to many issues like uncontrolled breeding, that significantly compromise the welfare of animals in general and place heavy burdens on the animal welfare sector,” she said
Animal Welfare Society of South Africa spokesperson Allan Perrins said the policy represented a quantum leap in the right direction for the welfare and well-being of pets and people in the Cape metro.
He, however, said the definition of an animal welfare Inspector appeared to be restricted to the SPCA only, and this needed to be broadened to include all qualified animal welfare Inspectors.
“We would propose a maximum time frame of seven working days for stray companion animals and 21 working days for large stray animals, before their fate is decided (there must be a time frame).
“We would recommend that all registered animal welfare organisations who admit and care for stray, confiscated, impounded and seized animals be afforded the same dispensation as the SPCA, that is currently the City’s sole service provider. At the moment, only the SPCA receives financial compensation from the City and this seems patently unfair,” he said.
Perrins said they were pleased that sterilisation of cats and dogs over the age of six months would be mandatory and that it was an owner’s responsibility to personally cover the neuter costs.
He said he was also pleased to note that the City had prioritised education, and intended to support and establish meaningful partnerships with animal welfare organisations.
The policy document is available for perusal and comment via the City’s website: https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Have-your-say/Issues-open-for-public-comment/comment-on-the-draft-revised-animal-keeping-policy, as well as at City Libraries and Subcouncil offices.