Bunny Park closed to treat sick animals

Members of the SPCA attempt to catch a rabbit at the Rynfield Bunny Park in Benoni. File picture: Chris Collingridge

Members of the SPCA attempt to catch a rabbit at the Rynfield Bunny Park in Benoni. File picture: Chris Collingridge

Published Oct 19, 2015

Share

Johannesburg - The Rynfield Bunny Park in Benoni has been temporarily closed after it emerged that one of the animals there carries a disease potentially fatal to humans.

The decision was taken at a meeting on Friday between the park’s management, Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality representatives, Ban Animal Trading and the Bunny Park Animals 911 Group.

Tania Forrest-Smith from the 911 Group said they recommended the park be closed immediately after it emerged that a sheep at the park carried a contagious disease. The state vet would be dispatched to the park this week to conduct tests on all the animals.

The volunteer group hailed the park’s closure as a victory.

In July, The Star documented that the heads of many of the rabbits at the park were covered in growths that obstructed their eyes, ears, noses and mouths. The rabbits and livestock had a shortage of food, water supplies were dirty and breeding was uncontrolled.

During The Star’s visit to the park last week, not much had changed.

Noeline Clare-Palbot, another member of the Bunny Park Animals 911 Group, said a lot had to be done while the park was closed. Not only would tests be done on the animals for diseases, but on the soil too.

“The ponds have to be dredged. They are so full of sludge that the park will be flooded when the rains start. The burrows will also be flooded, and that will be an absolute tragedy,” said Clare-Palbot. “Every animal that is untreatable has to be euthanised.”

Rabbits and livestock would be sterilised, vaccinated and dewormed. The group also wanted to start a register to keep track of the livestock.

Ekurhuleni spokesman Themba Gadebe confirmed that the park had been closed.

@Gabi_Falanga

[email protected]

The Star

* E-mail your opinion to [email protected] and we will consider it for publication or use our Facebook and Twitter pages to comment on our stories. See links below.

Related Topics: