Debbie Steiner, who heads up TAGEM flexible ear tags has just confirmed that TAGEM team member Martin Erasmus is actively involved in protecting farms agains the rabid jackal that are prevalent in the area. TAGEM is donating reject tags (not quite up to our usual quality standards) to ANYONE who wants to assist as well. The modus operandi is to visit farms at risk, and at night, to help farmers protect their homes and livestock. There is unfortunately no choice, the animals have to be shot BUT are then tagged with the ear tag and the location is recorded including the GPS coordinates. This valuable information, together with the animal/s remains is then passed on to Allerton Veterinary Laboratory, Pietermaritzburg who are using it to track the progress of the disease.

On one evening alone 7 rabid jackals were shot on one farm. It was noted that their behaviour is quite aberrant; approaching the farmhouses, fences and people when this would definitely NOT be the case if the animals were healthy.

It is understood that dassies, baboons and karakul are also carrying the disease, so it is essential to be VERY careful whether you are on a farm, taking a bush walk etc. Do not take any chances and rather call for assistance if you are unsure as to what action to take.

Please ensure all livestock is vaccinated including horses, donkeys etc.

Anyone wanting TAGEM ear tags should email debbie.steiner@ramsay.co.za and please feel free to circulate this message to anyone you feel will benefit.

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