Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Blitz against goat traders

Blitz against goat traders

Saturday, 28 August 2010 19:52

GOAT traders in Harare say their livelihoods are under threat in the wake of
massive raids by council, the police and animal welfare organisations that
have seen them lose at least 188 goats and sheep inside two weeks.
Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ), have teamed up with the
police, the city council and the Harare chapter of the Society for
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to carry out raids on the vendors whom they
accuse of ill-treating the animals.

“They started the raids last week and so far, they have confiscated a total
of 188 goats and sheep,” said Tonderai Nyatsuro who operates from the area
popularly known as Kumbudzi along the Harare-Masvingo high way.

“We do not know what to do because this is our only source of income, we
cannot go to steal.”
The traders usually operate from open spaces where they confine the animals
using stones and old tyres among other material to stop them from wandering

A goat costs between $25 and $50 depending on its size while sheep cost
between $50 and $100.
Nyatsuro said they invest a lot of time and money travelling to the rural
areas to buy the animals for resale back in the city.
“We have always worked well here with no complaints from anyone,” another
trader said.

“We were shocked when we woke up to the raids, with people telling us that
we were ill-treating the animals.”
The organisations are reportedly rounding up the goats and sheep and taking
them to a farm owned by the police where they will later be sold at a public

Traders who dare follow the trucks with their confiscated animals are made
to pay fines of $20 per animal or are turned away empty handed.
“Some of our colleagues who lost their animals had come all the way from the
rural areas hoping they would make a quick sale and return home,” another
vendor said.

“They ended up selling their shoes to get bus fare to travel back to the
village as they did not have any extra cash on them and they also did not
have anywhere else to go.

“Others slept here in the open without money to go back to the village while
some who live in Harare are now sitting at home with nothing to do to make a

Nyatsuro and his colleagues said they now hide their animals somewhere away
from where they operate from and only go and collect an animal once a
customer has convinced them they genuinely want to buy.

An inspector with VAWZ, Meryl Harrison said the raids would continue.
“We discovered that there are eight places where goats were not only sold
but also slaughtered,” she said. “They round up the goats, tie them up and
stress them, keeping them without food and water for long hours.

“The public was also distressed to see goats being hanged in the open and
inhumanely slaughtered by these people. We also found out that they had no
licences for their operations,” she said.

Harrison however said the raids were costly and there was need for a lasting
solution in form of a goat market.



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