Dear Friends of VAWZ
Our final update for 2010. Firstly we would like to thank you all for your very kind donations this year, which have enabled Meryl and Bernard to travel the country tackling a variety of different issues.
Here are two of the most recent cases.
One of the major animal welfare issues that Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ) is dealing with is the nightmare of cattle transportation in Zimbabwe. The inhumane treatment of livestock is widespread - how many of us have seen totally unsuitable vehicles on our roads, with cattle, goats & sheep squashed into very small trucks, many of the animals tied down & unable to move for what in many cases is a very long journey to the abattoir or sale pens. How many of us have seen these vehicles carrying obviously suffering livestock, being waved through road blocks & toll gates - the Police only interested in the relevant Movement Permits?
VAWZ feels it has a responsibility to roundly condemn such cruelty, but at the same time to educate all the stakeholders involved. To this end we have had held meetings with livestock owners, ZRP, including their Anti Stocktheft section, the Traffic Dept, the Vehicle Inspection Depot, Veterinarians & Animal Health Inspectors.
Recently we received a phone call at 5am, the caller saying he was a Constable at the Mazoe Toll Gate & that there had been an "accident" & could we come straight away as there were "goats lying on the ground?” Imagining a scene of total carnage, we contacted the Manager of Harare SPCA & we all sped out to the Mazoe Toll Gate. To our surprise & relief there had been no accident, but a very vigilant member of ZRP had stopped the vehicle at 3am, realising that the animals were grossly over-crowded, the cattle that were tied down, were standing on top of the goats & the vehicle was totally unroadworthy. On investigation, we discovered that the livestock had left Murazabani at 10 am the previous day, but had broken down three times before reaching the toll gate in the early hours of the morning.
The vehicle was directed to the SPCA where the exhausted animals were off loaded, water & grazing provided. The vehicle was taken to the VID & impounded. The owners's of the livestock were allowed to collect their animals the following day provided they paid for their impounding, came with suitable vehicles (goats to be separated from the cattle) & new Movement Permits - this they did.
We later congratulated the Constable on his very responsible action & asked him how he knew who to contact? - he replied that he had attended a talk that VAWZ had given on Cattle Transportation a few weeks ago at Morris Depot to 75 members of the Anti Stocktheft Unit. VAWZ was delighted that the "system" appears to be working & that we are finally making a difference! - The Constable will receive a Certificate of Commendation from us.
Pepper an inspiration to us all?
A very Happy ending after intervention by VAWZ Inspectors!
In May of this year, our Inspectors were alerted by a member of the public to the plight of some German Shepherds owned by Chinese nationals in Harare. Apparently the situation had been investigated by the SPCA some months previously, but the situation had not changed.
On investigation three dogs were found on the property, none of them in good condition but the one that gave the greatest concern was a male German Shepherd. He was emaciated, every rib showing, spine prominent, coat very poor. We instructed the owner to take the dog to a vet immediately - he said he was "too poor" – in-spite of there being 6 4x4s in the driveway at the time! Owner surrendered his dog to VAWZ, & we took the dog straight to Chisipite Veterinary Surgery where a barrage of blood tests were carried out - weighing him, it was found he weighed less than 13kg - his weight should have been in the region of 25kg. Dr Claire Savage on receiving the blood results thought that they had been taken from a dead dog, they were so poor. Pancreatitis was diagnosed which can be a lifelong debilitating condition; in Pepper's case it was made worse by the fact that he was so malnourished & unwell.
The rest as they say is history! - Pepper is now in his new home where he has taken over the household & is very much loved in return. A very big thank you to Ken & Sue, & the Chisipite Vets for nursing this super dog back to full health.
Your support & donations make these miracles possible.
Lastly from all at VAWZ we wish you a very happy safe festive season and hope that 2011 brings peace and tranquillity to us all.