Johannesburg - The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) on Thursday, said that it has grave concerns for the animals that may be affected by the strikes at the borders by South African Revenue Services (Sars) employees over wage disputes.
This comes as thousands of workers affiliated to the National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) downed tools at branches across the country demanding an 11.5 percent increase, while Sars is offering seven percent.
The strike could disrupt customs operations at national ports of entry and enable the flow of drugs and illicit goods. But Sars said it had put necessary contingency measures in place to minimise the disruption to taxpayer services across its branches and ports of entry.
In a statement, the NSPCA said that the movement of animals through South Africa's land ports was extensive, and species include wildlife, farm animals and domestic pets.
The NSPCA said road transport presented its own animal welfare problems which include long-distance travel, overcrowding and associated injuries – long delays at border posts compromise the welfare of these animals even further.
National Inspector Arno de Klerk, who is a manager of the NSPCA's special projects unit, said they had communication to Sars highlighting their concerns regarding animal welfare during these strikes.
De Klerk said Sars responded with the reassurance that their detection dogs would be cared for but there was no mention of the animals being transported through the borders, and this remained a concern.
"We appeal to all livestock and animal transporters to take the welfare of their animals into consideration at this time and schedule their transportation accordingly to ensure that their animals do not suffer from prolonged transportation," de Klerk said. said
De Klerk said the NSPCA will continue to monitor the situation and called on members of the public to report any concerns that they may witness at the borders during these strikes.
African News Agency (ANA)