A farmer, unable to endure to watch his livestock suffer in the drought-stricken area of Matjiesfontein, in the Western Cape, shot himself on Thursday.
Andries le Roux, 38, a prize-winning Angora goat breeder, a respected resident, father of three children aged 6, 8 and 10, and owner of Farm Fortuin, took his own life on Thursday, as he could not endure the suffering of his prized animals any longer, according to a statement from Gift of The Givers.
The wife, Estie, who is shattered, is unable go back to the farm for various reasons.
Gift of The Givers spokesperson Imtiaz Sooliman said another farmer and his wife recently tried to ‘rescue’ 157 abandoned calves whose mothers were too weak and malnourished to nurture their offspring. Only eight survived, and the farmer wanted to commit suicide.
Another farmer had already shot himself two months ago after facing a similar catastrophe.
Sooliman said: “The chances of this recurring is very real as farmers are at their wits end unable to provide for their animals and by extension, their families, as they watch their prized animals disappearing in their presence with each passing day. They are totally helpless and are losing hope rapidly. The animals are in desperate need of fodder. Drought has destroyed all vegetation.”
The organisation further emphasised: “An urgent intervention is required to prevent more tragedies both among human and animal. There has been a sterling response from farmers in various parts of the country providing free fodder and fuel, some corporates providing transport.”
During routine weekly inspections at a dip tank somewhere in the Greater Giyani Municipality area, three cattle with ulcers were flagged for suspicion of FMD. The cattle were immediately isolated in their own kraal on the owner’s farm, and then further underwent thorough clinical inspections of their mouths, tongues and throats carried out by an animal health technician.
Fodder for the isolated animals was in turn provided by the DAFF.
Upon finishing inspections, samples were collected and sent for testing at ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Campus (ARC-OVR) in Pretoria and the results of the tests showed that it was indeed FMD, more specifically serotype SAT 1 of the FMD virus.
The outbreak was then reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Two other cattle that share a water source with the dip tank where the initial outbreak was detected were also flagged, inspected and had samples collected for testing after they also had suspected FMD ulcers.
– Caxton News Service