Domestic animals undoubtedly are so crucial to the survival of mankind especially the people of sissala east district. We use animals for a variety of purposes. We sell them to pay our children’s school fees, use them during social gatherings such as funerals, festive occasions etc. Their importance in our daily lives cannot be over emphasized. Therefore, every effort must be made towards ensuring that animal rearing in the district is increased.
However, in an attempt to rear and keep these animals especially within the fast growing district especially the district capital, it is important to ensure that these animals do not pose health risks and other negative effects to the public. When animals are allowed to move freely without control, they are termed as stray animals. Such animals cause accidents resulting in loss of lives, cause zoonotic diseases, cause sanitation problems and destruction of properties. It is not uncommon to see animals such as goats, sheep, donkeys and even pigs roaming the streets of Tumu. In the night, they usually make so much noise that, one finds it difficult to sleep. There are stories of how innocent people lost their lives and sustained various forms of injuries as a result of these animals. For us to continue to allow animals competing for space with human beings in a developing district such as ours is not good enough.
There are laws in Ghana that deal with stray animals. Even in the colonial days, cap 86, section 31, SS 2, 3 and 11 makes it an offence for anybody to allow his animals to be loitering about. We also have criminal code 1960 (act 29) section 300. Stray animals also featured prominently in byelaws of the various assemblies. My friends from environmental health and those in the field of law should pardon me if there are errors.
What is the way forward? Let me commend the manager of Radford FM, Balu Mohammed, Tumu for triggering the discussion on this very important issue which i was privilege to be part of. First and foremost, we all in the district must accept and see it as a problem. Sensitization is very key. The commitment of the leadership of the Sissala East District assembly to this noble cause is very important. Active involvement of various stakeholders such as the Media, Police, Assembly men and women, unit committee members, Veterinary services etc. is equally important. Most importantly, for this exercise to be successful, it will need to have the blessing and approval of the traditional authorities. Environmental health and sanitation unit must play the lead in this exercise. The journey will not be one day journey. It will not be easy, but I think in the end, we shall succeed.

Credit: Balu Mohammed

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