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'Don't act the goat': Zimbabweans warned against abusing 'currency'

Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe say carting goats around as a form of payment is cruel, disrespectful and a crime.

Goat generic. Picture: freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG – Animal welfare activists are warning Zimbabweans not to act the goat – literally.

There are concerns that goats will face abuse from Zimbabweans in the cash-strapped country, after government officials said schools should accept livestock in lieu of fees.

Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ) say carting goats around as a form of payment is cruel, disrespectful and a crime.

In a statement, the group says people who do this could face arrest and prosecution for animal cruelty or even stock-theft – which carries a nine-year jail term.

VAWZ’s Mel Hood said at the weekend that one group of party-goers in Harare took a live goat with them on a pub crawl, ordered drinks and pretended they would pay for them with the goat.

There are growing concerns for animal welfare after education ministry officials said this month that school fees could be paid with livestock, especially in rural areas.

VAWZ is appealing to members of the public to record and report any abuse of goats and other animals.