“After all the work we’ve done at Bunny Park and all the agreements we’ve made, it’s worth noting that the facility is reverting to brutal habits.”
That’s according to Tania Forrest-Smith of interest group The Furry Friends, which has been instrumental in giving the park’s animals a voice.
After a five-and-a-half-year battle to ensure the animal populations were properly cared for at the facility, Forrest-Smith was shocked to learn that 20 baby goats had been born at the facility. end of July.
After heavy rain flooded Bokkie Park in Boksburg in April, the parks and cemeteries division of the EC, which manages both parks, decided to relocate goats and sheep to Bunny Park as a precaution.
According to Metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini, the move was facilitated to prevent hoof rot in animals.
In February, “City Times” newspaper wrote that eight goats live in the facility. At the end of August, this number was 38.
In early September, the animals were moved back to Bokkie Park.
Bunny Park interest groups and concerned residents are demanding answers about the park’s growing animal population, with some claiming that progress made during renovations has been set aside to allow the facility to be used as a breeding facility for ungulates.
On July 26, City Times reported on a case of animal abuse after a nanny goat was dragged by the ear by a park employee shortly after giving birth to triplets.
At the time, Dlamini stated that a large-scale investigation had been launched and it was found that the officer helped the goat stand by its horns after watching the birthing process.
“The nanny had given birth to the triplets near the border fence and needed help to recover, feed her and move her to a safe place where she could bond with the children,” Dlamini said.
“No animal was harmed. The city would like to emphasize once again that all animals in the park are well fed and cared for.
Forrest-Smith disagrees, saying that some of the facility’s staff are not adequately trained and lack the necessary empathy to work so closely with animals.
“The new administration needs to familiarize itself with the work being done at the park as well as the mismanagement that has occurred in terms of animal care,” he said.
“We cannot breed animals in the facility, he is not responsible.”
Dlamini defended the metro’s position on the controlled breeding of some animals such as goats, sheep and cattle. Other animals such as pigs and rabbits are not allowed to breed.
“The lambs and kids born at Bunny Park are animals from Bokkie Park and have been moved back with the sheep,” he said.
“EC’s livestock policy provides several options for managing population control, such as exchange programs with other facilities.”
Forrest-Smith received a message from a reliable source saying that the sale of animals raised in the metro’s various parks makes up 30% of the revenue needed to cover the park’s running costs.
Cattle are auctioned to commercial farmers for up to R10,300 each, while breeding quality rams can fetch up to R14,000.
“These animals are nothing more than breeding machines for the subway,” Forrest-Smith said.
“Nanny goats are bred from the age of 4 months, and the lives of older sheep are in danger because they are allowed to be born before puberty.
“This is not what we are fighting for! I want a meeting with the mayor. Our animals are exploited and subjected to violence.”
Dlamini confirmed that the city is constantly looking at ways to minimize costs without compromising on service delivery and is looking at ways to create sustainable revenue systems to subsidize the running costs of its facilities.
“Selling surplus animals is one of the few sustainable ways to subsidize operating costs. “The city aims to attract commercial farmers to participate in the cattle trade by offering high quality cattle.”
He did not make a statement about the selling prices of the animals.
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