By Guy Rogers
A new animal welfare education programme has been launched in Nelson Mandela Bay, driven by a five-year sponsorship support plan.
The programme has been initiated by the Eastern Cape Agricultural Show Association (Ecasa), which was formed after the demise of the Port Elizabeth Agricultural Society and the sale of its 12ha property off Uitenhage Road in North End.
The money from the sale was put into a trust managed by Ecasa and used to support ventures aiding the welfare and care of animals.
The dual focus is on the agricultural sector, with Ecasa supporting 10 agri-societies across the Karoo, as well as on the animal welfare sector, Ecasa chairman Colin Fox said yesterday.
“With this new animal welfare programme we have pledged R200 000 a year and our aim is that it will be a long-term programme. We’re hoping to continue this support for at least five years.”
The new programme is geared to educating children and young people.
Ecasa has linked up with representatives from the Bay’s three main animal welfare organisations – the Animal Welfare Society (AWS), Save-a-Pet and the Animal Anti-Cruelty League – to achieve this goal.
“Our animal welfare representatives visit schools, distribute [pamphlets and other materials] and work with teachers to educate the kids on how best to take care of their dogs and cats.”
AWS representative Marizaan Ferreira said schools in the townships and the suburbs would be visited.
“Issues range from dogs being kept on chains to owners just allowing their pets to breed and then dumping them in cardboard boxes and leaving them to die.
“We talk to the kids about the horrific practice of dog fighting.
“[We also emphasise] the basic need to provide their pets with fresh food and water each day.”