Pig pens set off mass animal cruelty case in Alexandria

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LIVING AMONG PIGS: Wentzel Park pig pens have caused outrage among the residents

A NUMBER of animals in Wentzel Park, Alexandria, suffered a cruel deaths last month when negotiations between residents and councillors failed to resolve a pig pen reallocation request.

A source, who asked not to be named, told TotT that municipal workers who owned pigs had erected a number of pig pens in a veld near the Wentzel Park cemetery. It’s common for cattle and other livestock to graze in the veld, but since the arrival of the pigs, residents have become involved in a bitter and cruel dispute.

According to the source, residents first complained about living among the stench of the pigs and expressed are in fear for their health.

TotT contacted Ndlambe SPCA inspector Anel Slabbert who confirmed that humans are susceptible to be contaminated by swine diseases, although rare, but not excluding swine flu.  She also confirmed that the SPCA has opened a case but referred TotT to SAPS.

Residents living near the area said their complaints have fallen on death ears. They have allegedly reported and complained about the pigs to Ward 2 councillor Thembekile Mbunge on numerous occasions but nothing has happened since, and the pigs have stayed.

In a related incident, a calf was killed by stray dogs at the same veld. The furious owner of the calf retaliated and smeared the carcass with a deadly poison. The owner, who is known to Alexandria SAPS, left the carcass in the veld which then led to the poisoning of many domestic dogs, stray animals, cats and wild animals who scavenged of the carcass.

Our source said numerous dogs have died in the meantime and other dead animals are surfacing in the area. A case of animal cruelty was opened against the owner of the calf.  SAPS are still investigating the incident as the story developed.

According to the source, tensions rose to a boiling point in the Wentzel Park area when residents and dog owners wanted to burn the pig pens down. SAPS and Ndlambe SPCA managed to intervene and prevent the pigs getting set alight at the time, but since then the pigs have suffered more cruelty at residents’ hands with some pigs being hacked at with sharp objects when there are no witnesses.

Municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa said the municipality was not aware of the situation and would investigate the series of events. He confirmed that Ndlambe had instructed the senior health inspector to visit the site and assess the situation.

Mbolekwa later gave an update that the inspector had visited the site and was now working with other departments within the municipality to address the situation.  He confirmed that they would file a full report by the end of the week.

“It will be a challenge, but residents are living there. They [pigs] need to be relocated,” he said.

 

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