AfriForum confirmed its willingness in a letter to the National Police Commissioner to urgently appoint an expert to perform a proper audit of the health and living conditions of dogs at the SAPS’s Roodeplaat canine breeding unit in Pretoria. 71 dogs at the unit have died since the parvovirus broke out there.
If the SAPS declines the help, AfriForum will consider steps to compel the SAPS to avoid more preventable deaths at their units.
Brig. Vish Naidoo, a SAPS spokesperson, said that an investigation was underway to establish if there had been negligence on the part of any member tasked with the safekeeping of the dogs and facilities. Naidoo also confirmed that cognisance was taken of the outbreak already on 5 September 2019.
AfriForum was shocked when the SAPS recently announced that it was no longer capable of adhering, among other, to its constitutional mandate to ensure the safety of the country’s citizens, and to fight crime properly. Moreover, it is experiencing a shortage in ammunition, which forces the SAPS to withdraw police officers – who should be fighting crime – and confine them to desk duties. The SAPS also recently learned that its budget will be reduced with several billion rand over the next three years. Despite these distressful circumstances, it seems that the SAPS fails to utilise its available resource optimally, however. The police reservists, who make their services available to the SAPS free of charge, are not utilised properly, for example. The number of reservists decreased from 63 592 members in 2010 to 8 908 in 2019. The deaths of 71 dogs at the Roodeplaat canine breeding unit also show that the SAPS cannot properly take care of its resources.
“The deaths, which could have been avoided through preventive action and contingency planning, as well as the SAPS’s current state of affairs, leave a bitter taste in the mouth. We hope with all our heart that the SAPS will allow AfriForum to provide the necessary support with the Roodeplaat incident to prevent a repeat of similar tragedies,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety.
SMS “hondehulp” to 45353 (R1) if you want to help AfriForum to improve the welfare of police dogs and to provide further expert support to the SAPS.