'Our hearts are bleeding' - Farmer allegedly poisoned cattle of neighbouring farmers

A case of animal cruelty has been opened against an Eastern Cape farmer after he allegedly poisoned and killed 15 cattle belonging to other farmers in Adelaide, the provincial Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) said on Wednesday.

DRDAR MEC Xolile Nqatha visited the area on Tuesday after Lingelethu farmers alleged that their cattle, some of them pregnant, were poisoned on Sunday.

Nqatha said the cattle were a source of income for poor farmers and their families in the area.

"I am glad that our vets have taken samples and the preliminary report indicates possible poisoning. We commit our department to work with the farmers and police to bring the perpetrator or the perpetrators of this inhumane deed to book," said Nqatha.

Farmer Mphithizeli Mhono lost five of his cattle and two were missing.

'Our hearts are bleeding'

"This is so bad. Our hearts are bleeding because some of the cows were pregnant," he said.

Another farmer Simphiwe Tsani, lost three cows and two others were missing. He said their cattle started dying on Sunday and more died later.

Tsani said other cows showed signs of weakness and that their urine and waste had turned red.

"We are not working. We depend on these cattle to feed and take care of our families. What this farmer has done is so miserable and it has destroyed our source of income," said Tsani.

Nqatha has asked DRDAR officials, who were led by Amathole district director Thembinkosi Boko, to ensure that the fence was fixed.

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