BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
THE Gweru City Council has been dragged to court by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) over the local authority’s decision to shoot stray dogs and donkeys, a senior council official has revealed.
Responding to queries by residents at a constituency meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development in Mkoba on why the municipality was not shooting stray animals, housing and community services director Shingirayi Tigere said council stopped the exercise after being taken to court by the SPCA.
“I have heard the concerns of residents on what council is doing in dealing with stray dogs and donkeys,” Tigere said.
“But, unfortunately, we had to stop the shoot-to-kill policy after the SPCA took us to court over the matter. The issue is still in court, hence we cannot proceed with the decision.”
In June this year, council decided to shoot and kill stray dogs and donkeys to protect residents against rabies and the menace caused by donkeys, but the SPCA felt council was violating animal rights.
At that time, city health director Sam Sekenhamo, said council had recorded an increase in the number of dog bites and to prevent a rabies outbreak the local authority had to enforce a leash order.
SPCA inspector Simbarashe Kurumbidza said shooting dogs was a violation of animal rights and urged council to provide them with material for making dog traps.
He said there was need for awareness campaigns to help dog owners secure their animals.