Category Archives: Animal Health

An overview of the Animal Diseases Act 35 of 1984

G&T_DomesticThe Animal Diseases Act 35 of 1984 (hereafter referred to as “the Act”) came into operation on the 1st of October 1986. In time it will be replaced by the Animal Health Act 7 of 2002, but for now the first mentioned act is still in force.

This act places a duty upon the government to ensure that animal diseases and parasites do not spread and the measures that should be implemented to improve the health of animals.

There are mainly two reasons why the health of animals should be protected and promoted. First and probably most important is the health of humans. We are all aware that certain animal diseases can spread to humans in various ways, the most common probably eating contaminated animal products. Secondly, the trade in animals and particularly wild animals are an important part of our country’s economy.

The Act contains a list of controlled diseases. Once animals are tested positive for one of these diseases the Act prescribes specific measures that should be taken by the government, more specifically the relevant state veterinarian, and what measures should be introduced to ensure that the disease does not spread. Diseases on this list include the following amongst others:

  • Foot-and-mouth disease (cloven hoofed animals)
  • Newcastle disease (poultry and birds)
  • Rabies (all animals)
  • Salmonella (poultry and birds)
  • Rinder Pest (cloven hoofed animals especially cattle)
  • Tuberculosis (all animals except fish, reptiles and amphibians)

There are several state veterinarians for each province and there are also state veterinarians at national government level in the service of the Department of Agriculture. Each district in a province will have a designated state veterinarian. It is these people that should apply the measures when there is an outbreak of a disease. The Act prescribes measures for every controlled disease and it varies from isolation and tests, immunizations, dipping treatment and also the destroying the infected animals in cases where it is a highly infectious and dangerous illness.

There are very strict measures for the import and export of animals. The main reason for this is to prevent the spread of certain diseases across international borders. The Act makes provision for quarantine stations that should be set up where imported animals must be kept. The Act further provides that no animal may enter the country without a permit. The permit must first be obtained before the animal can be transported to South Africa and they can only enter the country in places as determined by Act 91 of 1964 better known as Customs.

In order to obtain a permit it must be ascertained that the animal does not carry any controlled or other diseases. Therefore, animals and even pets will be tested by a veterinarian before they can enter the country. Animals must be tested once they arrived in the country as well. The Act provides that the animal must first be detained at customs for these tests to be done. The Director of Animal Health will have to give written permission that the animal can be let out of detention and enter the country’s borders.

The Act also places an obligation on owners of animals and the owners of the property where animals are kept to prevent animals being infected and the spread of disease. If a controlled disease do break out the persons should immediately report it to the officials, e.g. notify the concerned state veterinarian and then the measures prescribed in the Act, should be applied. It is also the Animal Diseases Act that gives the government the power to destroy stray animals under certain circumstances.

It is important that the government fulfill their obligations as prescribed by the Act, not only to promote and protect the health of animals, but also our health.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Die Wet op Dieresiektes

G&T_DomesticDie Wet op Dieresiektes 35 van 1984 (hierna genoem “die Wet”) het op 1 Oktober 1986 in werking getree. Die Wet sal mettertyd deur die Animal Health Act 7 van 2002 vervang word, maar vir nou geld die eersgenoemde steeds.

Hierdie wetgewing plaas ‘n verpligting op die regering om te verseker dat dieresiektes en parisiete nie versprei nie en bepaal watter maatreëls toegepas moet word om die gesondheid van ons diere te bevorder.

Daar bestaan hoofsaaklik twee redes waarom die gesondheid van diere bevorder en beskerm moet word. Eerstens en waarskynlik die belangrikste is die gesondheid van die mens. Ons is tog almal bewus dat sekere siektes in diere, kan versprei na die mens op verskeie wyses, die mees algemeenste dan seker die eet van besmette diere produkte. Tweedens is die handel in diere en dan veral wilde diere ‘n belangrike deel van ons land se ekonomie.

Die Wet bevat ‘n lys van beheerde siektes.  Sodra diere positief getoets word vir een van hierdie siektes skryf die Wet dan spesifieke maatreëls voor wat deur die regering, meer spesifiek dan die betrokke staatsveearts, ingestel moet word om te verseker dat die siekte nie versprei nie. Siektes wat op hierdie lys verskyn is dan onder andere:

  • Bek-en-klouseer (gesplete hoef diere)
  • Newcastle siekte (pluimvee en voëls)
  • Hondstolheid (alle diere)
  • Salmonella (pluimvee en voëls)
  • Rinderpes (gesplete hoef diere veral beeste)
  • Tuberkulose (alle diere behalwe visse, reptiele en amfibieë)

Daar is verskeie staatsveeartse vir elke provinsie en dan is daar ook staatsveeartse op nasionale regerings vlak  in die diens van die Departement van Landbou. Elke distrik in ‘n provinsie sal dan ‘n aangewese staatsveearts hê. Dit is hierdie persone wat die maatreëls moet toepas wanneer daar n uitbraak van ‘n siekte is. Die Wet skryf vir elke beheerde siekte maatreëls voor wat wissel wan isolasie en toetse,  immunisering, dip, behandeling en dan ook die vernietiging van die besmette diere in gevalle waar dit ‘n hoogs aansteeklike en gevaarlike siekte is.

Daar is baie streng maatreëls vir die in- en uitvoer van diere. Die hoofrede hiervoor is dan ook om die verspereiding van sekere siektes oor internasionale grense te bekamp. Die Wet maak voorsiening dat kwarentyn stasies opgerig mag word waar ingevoerde diere  gehou moet word. Die Wet bepaal verder dat geen dier die land mag binnekom sonder ‘n permit nie. Die permit moet eers bekom word alvorens die dier na Suid-Afrika vervoer kan word en die land kan binnekom op  plekke soos deur  Wet 91 van 1964 bepaal beter bekend as ‘n doeane.

Ten einde ‘n permit te bekom sal daar eers seker gemaak moet word dat die dier nie enige van die  beheerde of ander siektes het nie. Daarom sal diere en selfs troeteldiere eers deur ‘n veearts getoets moet word voordat hulle die land kan binnekom. Diere moet ook getoets word sodra hulle die land binnekom.. Die Wet bepaal dat die dier eers by die doeane aangehou moet word vir verdere toetse. Die Direkteur van Diere Gesondheid sal dan eers skriftelik moet toestemming gee dat die dier uit aanhouding gelaat kan word en die land se grense kan binnekom.

Die Wet plaas ook ‘n verpligting op eienaars van diere en die eienaars van die eiendom waarop diere aangehou word om te verhoed dat diere  besmet word en siektes versprei.  Indien ‘n beheerde siekte wel uitbreek moet die persone dit onmiddelik aanmeld by die amptenare, bv. die betrokke staatsveearts in kennis stel sodat die maatreëls wat in die Wet voorgeskryf word, toegepas kan word. Verder is dit ook die Wet op  Dieresiektes wat die regering die mag gee om rondloperdiere van kant te maak onder sekere omstandighede.

Dit is belangrik dat die regering hulle verpligtinge nakom soos voorgeskryf deur die Wet, nie net ten einde diere se gesondheid te bevorder en beskerm nie, maar ook ons gesondheid.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.