GOOD mayoral candidate Brett Herron is letting the dogs out over allegations of poisoning of pets by the City’s spraying of pesticides in public spaces. Picture: Wilfred Schrevian Evan Solomons-Johannes
GOOD mayoral candidate Brett Herron is letting the dogs out over allegations of poisoning of pets by the City’s spraying of pesticides in public spaces. Picture: Wilfred Schrevian Evan Solomons-Johannes

Herron barking mad over alleged poisoning of dogs by City of Cape Town spraying pesticide

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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Cape Town - Good mayoral candidate Brett Herron said the City disregarded its environmental strategy, which he tabled in 2017, by endangering wildlife and pets after reports to him of pets getting sick and having to be taken to the vet with liver damage.

He said the pets became sick after the City allegedly sprayed public open spaces with a poisonous weed killer (pesticide).

SPCA spokesperson Shane Everts, however, said it was highly unlikely for pesticides sprayed in a public area to be the cause of liver disease in dogs.

He said the deposits from spraying an outside area would not deliver a high enough dose of the pesticide’s active ingredient to cause toxicity.

Even Western Cape Veterinary Services state vet, epidemiologist Dr Laura Roberts, said their vets had heard nothing relating to pets and wildlife being brought in suffering from liver damage.

“Though this is not a controlled disease matter and no one is under obligation to report to us, I would expect that one of us would have heard something if there was a real issue. We’ve also done some quick checking with the private vets and no one giving feedback knows anything about it,” said Roberts.

But Herron is adamant.

“Residents in Oranjezicht report that the areas near the mountainside, which are usually cut with a weed-eater, were this year sprayed with weed-killer. Residents of the City Bowl have reported that their dogs became sick over the last few weeks after ingesting the vegetation that has been sprayed,” said Herron.

Good Party candidate councillor Mark Rountree for ward 77 (the area from which the reports emanated) said the first report was the grassed areas at the top of Oranjezicht, around Glencoe Road, while another dog was taken to a vet in Sea Point.

Herron said one resident reported that they took a puppy to the vet and an ultrasound confirmed that the dog had suffered liver damage. The vet reportedly concluded that the weed-killer used by the City could cause liver and kidney damage.

Herron said that it was not in line with the City’s environmental strategy, which required all spheres of City government to reduce their impacts on the environment.

“Mowing or weed-eaters would be minimally impactful on the environment in comparison to the use of weed killers (pesticides). If this weed killer is able to cause liver damage in dogs, as the vet has allegedly reported, then we also must be considering what impact this would be having on the wildlife which is in our suburbs and on the mountain,” said Herron.

Herron encouraged residents to be cautious and appealed to the City to take environmental protection more seriously by halting the use of dangerous chemicals in the natural environment .

The City said it was looking into the matter and would respond in due course.

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