One of the many cows that have caused residents of Phoenix, north of Durban, to feel uneasy.Picture by Romita Hanuman-eThekwini Municipality

Durban - The grass may not be greener on the side anymore for cattle grazers who cross into the Phoenix suburb, north of Durban. 

The eThekwini Municipality is holding meetings with cattle owners from the neighbouring suburbs under the Municipality’s Nuisances and Behaviour in Public Places By-Law and Public Health By-law act in an effort to stop cows wandering onto public roads.

Anitha Govender, project co-ordinator from the Area Based Management office said that cows were sent to graze in Phoenix because of the vast amount of green grass.

The eThekwini municipality website said that Phoenix residents will be pleased to know that their concerns regarding the roaming cows will soon be a thing of the past. 

The website said for the past 10 months, Phoenix residents were met with unwelcome guests in front of their homes, on main roads and were subjected to foul odours, flybreeding, cow ticks, stream pollution, faeces and traffic obstructions. 

A complaint was made to the municipal speakers office and was then cascaded to the Environmental Health and Phoenix Area Based Management (ABM) units. 

Santosh Maharaj, Manager at the Environmental Health Unit explained, on the website, the health risks associated with these animals grazing in the vicinity of residents. 

“Escherichia coli and salmonella are probably two of the bestknown illnesses caused by bacteria. These diseases, in addition to another called campylobacter, commonly spread from cattle to humans through contact with faeces, listeriosis and rabies are all common deadly viral diseases transmitted to humans by a variety of animals, including cattle, through saliva or animal bites.” Maharaj said.

“Other illnesses that can be transferred to humans from cows include the fungal ringworm disease, a skin infection that causes crusty, itchy patches on the skin.” 

Govender said that various steps were taken to curb this challenge including contacting the cattle owners. 

“We have contacted some of the owners and the issue was discussed. It was well received and the owners understood that their animals are causing havoc. They have assured us that they will not be sending their cattle into the residential areas of Phoenix.” 

Govender added that they are in the process of tracing other owners of the cattle. 

“Once all owners have been notified and if this still persists, the Municipality’s By-law will be enforced,” she said.

Daily News