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Research Communication

A survey of animal welfare needs in Soweto : research communication

C.M.E. McCrindle, S.T. Cornelius, H.S. Schoeman

Journal of the South African Veterinary Association; Vol 68, No 4 (1997), 137-139. doi: 10.4102/jsava.v68i4.895

Submitted: 13 July 1997
Published:  13 July 1997


The diagnostic phase of an interactive research evaluation model was used in the investigation of the animal welfare needs of a low-income urban community in South Africa. Data were gathered by means of a structured interview and direct observations by animal welfare officers. During the survey of 871 animal owners in Soweto, it was found that dogs were owned by 778 households and cats by 88 households. The dog to human ratio was estimated at 1:12.4. Respondents were asked whether they enjoyed owning animals and 96.1 % said that they did. Only 26.3 % mentioned that they had problems with their own animals and 16.6 % had problems with other people's animals. Treatment of sick animals (29.7 %) was seen as a priority. However, less than 1 % (n = 6) used the services of private veterinarians. Others took their animals to welfare organisations or did not have them treated. Perceptions of affordable costs of veterinary treatments were also recorded. In addition to treatment, respondents indicated a need for vaccination (22.5 %), sterilisation (16.5 %), control of internal (3.7 %) and external (8.8 %) parasites, education and extension (6.6 %), prevention of cruelty to animals (3.2 %) and expansion of veterinary clinics to other parts of Soweto (1.3 %).

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Author affiliations

C.M.E. McCrindle,
S.T. Cornelius,
H.S. Schoeman,


Animal Welfare; Soweto; Survey; Veterinary Needs Appraisal


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