Stray animals go under the hammer

HARARE - Close to 100 domesticated animals, including donkeys, are set to go under the hammer as they have been left unclaimed for too long, Zibagwe Rural District Council chief executive officer Farayi Machaya has said.

The auctions will be held in various homesteads within the rural local government arm in Kwekwe.

This comes as the ministry of Agriculture is concerned that despite its endless pleas for livestock farmers to ensure their livestock is kept away from the city and national public roads, the number of animals that continue to be impounded is on the rise.

Machaya said the council will be conducting an auction to dispose of impounded stray stock as defined by section 43 of the Stock Trespass Act.

Among the domesticated animals that will go under the hammer are 20 goats, 14 donkeys, 14 cows, bulls, colts, heifers and steers.

“These livestock are kept for a minimum of three months so it’s a lengthy process before there are auctioned off. Before the auctions the owners can still come and claim their livestock with proof and they will handed back their livestock,” Machaya said.

“This is not our first set of auctions this year so the issue of stray livestock is quite widespread.”

Since the beginning of the year over 300 livestock have been impounded, detained and later auctioned across the country’s rural district councils with Agriculture deputy minister Paddy Zhanda confirming the problem had become widespread.

“It’s very unfortunate that this is happening countrywide,” Zhanda said, adding “the only intervention we can make is to continue to encourage our people to brand their cattle, so that when they get lost they can be traced. We are making progress, it’s not at the level we would like to be but we will continue awareness campaigns.”

The police launched a blitz against livestock owners as beasts have caused a significant number of traffic accidents.

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