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Petition to end dog slaughtering draws 4 000 signatures

The theft and subsequent slaughtering of a dog at Rehoboth continues to cause outrage, with a petition to end the practice of dog slaughtering having gained 4 000 signatures.

The petition calls for a declaration that animals, including dogs, deserve legal protection and rights based on their unique status as sentient beings.

Advocate Ronel Lewies, who started the petition, urges the extension of the definition of ‘life’ as envisaged in Article 6 of the Namibian Constitution to include animals.

“We propose that the right to life for animals should be limited to ensuring their welfare and well-being in their treatment by humans,” the petition reads.

The dog involved in the incident, named Dalton, was owned by Rehoboth resident Mavourneen Busch, who reported him missing on 8 June.

Busch launched a social media campaign and door-to-door search to find Dalton, only to discover people consuming the dismembered remains of the family’s dear pet, with his boiled head displayed nearby.

Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform spokesperson Jona Musheko says: “We generally do not condone animal cruelty or abuse. In reference to Dalton’s case, there are entities where lost pets can be taken so that owners can find them, but not kill them.”

Ricardo Kastoor and Teodor Itembu have been arrested and charged with theft and animal cruelty in connection with the incident.

Two other suspects are still to be apprehended.

Kastoor and Itembu have appeared in the Rehoboth Magistrate’s Court and have been denied bail.

Sylvia Breitenstein from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has condemned the act, and has called for Namibians to ensure the safety of their pets.

She has called on people who find missing pets not to sell them or take them home, but rather to contact the authorities or take them to the nearest SPCA.

The court case has been postponed to 31 July 31.

Police investigations are ongoing.