Sheree Bega

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has expressed its concern over the planned cull of thousands of dassies across Joburg in the next few months.

“We have not been presented with sufficient data that exclusionary methods and other humane options have been explored and have either failed or not been tried to prevent the dassies from interfering with human co-habitants,” it said, yesterday, in reaction to the plans by the City of Johannesburg for sharp-shooters to take aim at the small mammals “terrorising” residents in suburbs and destroying gardens.

“Various members of the public have raised serious concerns about the drastic measures which are being considered. The NSPCA shares this concern and confirms that the relevant SPCAs in the area will be engaging further with the council on this matter.”

Dassie populations were apparently exploding in small nature reserves to the city’s north and south and faced with a lack of food, the animals were invading suburban gardens.

“The NSPCA recognises the need for people to live without the nuisance factor. However, the ‘wildness’ and wild animals, which attracted people to these natural areas in the first place seem to lose their appeal and intolerance sets in when displaced dassies destroy gardens and pristine lawns.

“The NSPCA encourages the use of non-lethal methods of control.”