Villagers to be sensitized about stray cattle

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Sakaria Kadhikwa

Ongwediva-The Ondangwa Town Council will continue sensitizing cattle and other livestock owners whose animals sometimes stray into town – so that they keep their animals in areas that are designated for grazing.

The promise to continue discussing the issue with residents of villages around and close to Ondangwa was repeated during a meeting held between the town council and the leadership of the Ondonga Traditional Authority at the latter’s office in Ondangwa last week.

During that meeting the town council delegation took note that the challenge of livestock grazing in town, especially towards the end of last year, was because of the early rains that fell in the Ondangwa area that led to the rapid growth of grass in town.

The grass encouraged people from faraway villages like Okaku and Uukwiyu Uushona to graze their animals in the townlands.

Bu cattle owners from nearby villages have of late been keeping an eye on their animals from straying into the town.

The town’s spokesperson Petrina Shitalangaho noted the leadership of Ondangwa has realized that perhaps the people who were herding cattle into town did not know that it is against the law, thus the council did not treat them harshly given the circumstances.

Bu she said the status quo has compelled the town council to talk to cattle herders and owners to inform them it is illegal to graze their cattle in town.

“In our efforts to inform and educate the affected people we agreed to send letters to headmen of the villages around town so that people can be informed. We also sent letters to congregations explaining the need for people to keep their cattle out of town,” Shitalangaho said.

The meeting reiterated the need to educate people about the cost involved in impounding their animals.

Such cost to the town council includes phone calls made to owners of cattle, the cost of driving to veterinary services to verify ownership of such animals from ear-tags, not to mention the cost the owners have to bear when they pay a fine to free their livestock from the pound.

“The other challenge the council faces with regard to cattle in town is those cattle that do not have ear-tags, which makes it difficult to identify owners of the animals,” noted Shitalangaho.

She said that during the meeting the traditional authority also promised to educate people on this challenging issue.

“The aim is to educate people to make them aware that if animals are being herded in town to graze it poses a danger to road users,” said Shitalangaho.

She stressed that if people see there is good grass for cattle in town they may cut the grass and take it home to feed their animals.

The only thing needed to be done before the grass is cut is to inform the local authority about the intention to do so that they would be aware of what is going on.

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