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By: Justicia Shipena

Rehoboth residents are puzzled about the town council’s decision to impound livestock, chickens, horses, and pigs in residential plots.

The town council announced this on Tuesday and has given residents until 27 October to remove all livestock from their yards.

Rehoboth resident Melvin Kisting who has chickens, pigs and rabbits in his backyard, said the notice saddens him.

Kisting said he applied to the town council to obtain a plot several times to keep his animals.

“It has been four times that I applied, and I still haven’t received feedback. I am unemployed. I make a living out of these chickens, pigs and rabbits,” he said.

Kisting added that the last time he attempted to apply for a farming plot was last year.

“Last week, I went to the town council to find out about my application, and they said they can’t find anything I sent them,” he stressed.

Kisting questioned what happened to his application letter to the council for the land.

He further added that he never received complaints from his community regarding his animals.

“No one has a complaint to me because I clean my things every day, and I disinfect,” he said.

He also states that the town council never approached him regarding complaints they received.

Kisting indicated told The Villager he is confused about what to do right now as time is running out.

“I don’t know what to do, I’m confused, and I don’t have a place to take my animals to. I don’t have a farm. I don’t have anything. I don’t know what my way forward is. If I get a place, I must rent it, but where do I even start? There are only two weeks left. I am busying slaughtering some of my chickens now to get rid of them.”

The town council said the decision was taken as it has received complaints of residents who have been disturbed by animals kept by their neighbours.

In a statement, the town council said that keeping animals in a town area may result in violation of the general health regulations of the Public Environment Act 1 of 25.

“Regulation 22 says no persons shall keep or allow to be kept any animal including game, bird or poultry as to be a nuisance,” the statement reads.

Rehoboth Town Council, public relations officer, Desire Theunissen, said they have noticed farming has become a norm in the town.

Theunissen said they had already introduced the campaign a month ago with the public.

“However, due to circumstances, we have picked up that not everybody was ready, and we have again given them 30 to make arrangements for the animals to be removed,” she said.

Theunissen told The Villager that this had been a battle the council had been fighting for a while.

“This has been a challenge we have been facing for quite some time, and we need to act now.”

Theunissen confirmed with The Villager that the animals would be impounded after the indicated period given to residents to remove.

“We have established rates and regulations regarding the impounding of these animals.”

In 2005, the Rehoboth Town Council planned to allocate a piece of land where people who travel from nearby farms could accommodate their livestock at a fee.

This was after the town started facing a persistent problem of unattended livestock grazing freely around the town.

In the same year, the town council warned to impound roaming livestock.

According to reports, the livestock became a traffic hazard apart and developed swarms of flies.

Back then, Rehoboth residents usually brought their livestock to the town from nearby farms because they did not have herders to look after them.

Furthermore, farmers were urged to ensure they kept their livestock at designated farms, and in failure to do so, the authorities said they would impound them.

Additionally, those who failed to pay the fines for a week face losing their animals to auctions.

Justicia Shipena

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