Swartruggens snotsiekte case postponed to February

The criminal case between Piet Wolmarans, a Simmentaler stud breeder from Swartruggens in North West, and three of his neighbours over an outbreak of malignant catarrhal fever (snotsiekte) has been postponed in the regional magistrate’s court to 28 February.

Swartruggens snotsiekte case postponed to February
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Wolmarans previously claimed that his livestock had been infected with snotsiekte due to his neighbours’ mismanagement of their blue wildebeest populations.

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The wildebeest carry the disease.

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“This caused me to lose 110 stud animals to the disease. My petitions to them to keep the blue wildebeest at least one kilometre away from my fences were simply ignored,” he told Farmer’s Weekly.

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The owners of the wildebeest refused to acknowledge that their animals had been responsible for the snotsiekte outbreaks, he added.

Wolmarans had taken his case to the civil court but after waiting for more than four years for a date to be set, had opened a criminal case based on the Animal Diseases Act (No. 35 of 1984).

This provided for the owner of any animal destroyed or disposed of pursuant to any control measure or any provision of the act to be compensated.

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Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.