SPCA records decline in number of dogfighting cases
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Cape Town - The Cape of Good Hope SPCA has recorded a significant decline in the number of dogfighting cases reported to them in the metro, from 62 to 17.
This after an increase from 29 to 62 cases (113%) in the previous financial year. This year, inspectors’ efforts reduced the number of dogfighting cases by 72%.
SPCA inspector Siviwe Noko said trying to prevent dogfighting was no longer enough, and the anti-dogfighting unit was moving to eradicate it.
SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abrahams said it was a crime to be involved, in any manner, with the fighting of animals or to own, keep, train or breed animals for fighting. She said those found guilty faced a fine of up to R80 000 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
Tin Can Town Animal Rescue co-founder Rosemarie Kunneke said not a lot of people were willing to point out the culprits, for fear of retribution.
“This makes gathering information very difficult, and many poor dogs will therefore never escape their horrible circumstances. Many of these fights get recorded on phones. We are in possession of such footage, but, unfortunately, the people recording these fights will never record someone’s face.
“This makes finding these people nearly impossible. We have heard rumours, but cannot confirm this as fact, that some people will give their dogs ‘tik’ to make them more aggressive when fighting,” she said.
SA.MAST director Tamsin Nel said the “floodgates were left open” due to inadequate animal-keeping by-laws. She said in 2010 and 2011 they pleaded with the City and animal welfare organisations to support their call for a mandatory sterilisation by-law to address the informal but lucrative pit bull-breeding trade.
“While a dogfighting task force has recently been set up between the City … and animal welfare organisations, the measures being taken are too little. In areas most at risk, (for) humane education at schools we should establish relationships with our celebrities – in sports, music, actors – to reach out to their fans, especially the children, teens and young adults, with anti-breeding and anti-dog fighting messaging; the influence would be tremendous,” said Nel.