By Nqobani Ndlovu
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has resolved to cull nearly two dozen of its horses citing overpopulation and lack of pastures, a development likely to anger animal rights activists.
The culling or killing of animals has often seen animal rights and wildlife conservation activists trading barbs.
Conservationists argue that culling is necessary to sustain wildlife populations, while animal rights activists are against the practice, describing it as barbaric.
According to a council report, city fathers have resolved to cull a number of horses situated at the Gum Plantation citing overpopulation.
“The above-mentioned horses (43) were kept at Gum Plantation which was also the grazing area. The area had three small paddocks which were set aside for the grazing of horses and other impounded livestock. The pastures were now severely depleted due to overpopulation of livestock impounded,” read part of a council report of the environmental management and engineering services committee.
“The pastures at the pound could no longer sustain the feeding of these animals. Furthermore, vandalism along the pipeline had reduced reclaimed water inflows, thereby affecting the growth of grass which is the fodder for the impounded livestock at the pound. The number of horses had increased in the past few years to unsustainable levels.
“It was, therefore, against this background that a request for authority to cull 22 horses was being made … It was, therefore, resolved to recommend that authority to cull all 22 horses be granted.”
This came after animal conservationists ganged up to protest against the slaughtering of donkeys for commercial purposes by a Bulawayo-based company Battlefront Investments.
The company, which had set up a donkey abattoir, was forced to abort its plans.