Domestic pets and food-production animals suffer primarily because of ignorance, uncontrolled breeding and preventable infectious diseases. There are an estimated 6 million dogs alone in South Africa, of which 85% have no access to veterinary services. It is a long-established fact that there is a direct relationship between animal cruelty and violence within communities. Access to basic veterinary services and humane education of children creates empathy for others, through the fostering of respect for life, creating a culture of caring and empathy for all beings. This is a vital ingredient in the building of a nation.
In South Africa there are unfortunately no state run veterinary hospitals of clinics. The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) supports responsible pet ownership and understands the importance of the human animal bond. The SAVA therefore established Community Veterinary Clinics (CVC) to assist disadvantaged pet owners (those who can either not afford or do not have access to veterinary services) with basic animal health care.
The SAVA-CVC is a non-profit organisation providing primary veterinary health care to animals from disadvantaged communities and education to pet owners and subsistence farmers.
Our main activity is primary veterinary health care: vaccinations, parasite control and sterilisations. We also put a lot of emphasis on educating pet owners about basic care of their pets: general health, prevention of dog bites, nutrition, training, etc. Our booklet: “Your best friend” has been developed with the assistance of various scientific organisations and experts. This booklet is currently available in 8 official languages (English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiZulu, Setswana, Xhosa, Tsonga and Pedi) and is distributed to pet owners at CVCs countrywide. The knowledge gained through this medium will help to eliminate the root cause of animal abuse (viz. ignorance) and will equip animal owners to become caregivers.
CVC involvement is intended to address needs expressed by the community. We are not I favour of going into communities and insisting on performing procedures and treatments on peoples’ pets regardless of whether the owner agree with what needs to be done, or consent to the procedures. This is not SAVA-CVC’s mandate or policy. The CVC clinics must take a long term approach, ensuring the community’s understanding, acceptance and co-operation. Seldom is there immediate co-operation on all aspects. However, with time and patience, most communities come to value our services, and will accept all aspects, including sterilisation.
Contributions are welcome.
Branch Code: 632005
Account number: 405 677 9023