NSPCA temporarily closes FreeMee Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

CUTIE PIE, OR NOT: Young meerkats at FreeMe's meerkat enclosure.

According to manager of the NSPCA’s Wildlife Protection Unit Isabel Wentzel, the rehabilitation centre has been temporarily closed because the centre needs to reapply for an operational permit.

Wentzel said, “The centre has been going through a lot of management changes and was once under a staff member’s permit. When that staff member left… the centre did not have a legal permit.”

The rehabilitation centre is currently reapplying for a permit and will be closed until their permit has been reapproved by the Gauteng Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (GDARD).

“The birds and animals that were being rehabilitated at the centre are being transferred to other facilities and the animals that are ready to be released will be released into the wild,” she said.

According to general manager of FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Margo Bansda, the rehabilitation centre had started discussions in September with GDARD about a new direction in order to follow guidelines set out by the department. These have come to a halt following the temporary closure which has a major impact on the centre fulfilling their mandate.

She added that, as a result, they have agreed to temporarily suspend admissions as requested by GDARD, and manage the current cases under the guidance and recommendations of the NSPCA.

“In the interim, we are in the process of applying for new permits which will allow FreeMe to operate as a fully compliant rehabilitation centre,” Bansda said.

“Since this is a temporary closure, we believe it is important for all our partners to be fully informed about our current situation. We are, however, still treating, managing and releasing all current cases, but will not admit any new cases until further notice. Our current cases are being managed under the guidance of the NSPCA. As a contingency plan, we have arranged that other partner rehabilitation centres receive the cases and ask you to re-direct the animals to them,” Bansda concluded.

FreeMe apologises for any inconveniences.

What do you think about FreeMe’s temporary closure? Share your views in the comments section below

You may also be interested in reading more about FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre:

FreeMe on the front of animal rescue

New rescues and exciting releases for FreeMe

A wild night for FreeMe

Offroad club make generous donation to FreeMe

FreeMe and its support group Friends of Rietfontein has also been at the forefront of the debate regarding the proximity of the proposed K60 road to the Rietfontein Reserve and the potential impact it may have on the recovering wildlife. Read more here:

K60 scoping report under scrutiny

Councillor mediates K60 opposition

United force against K60 road

 

  AUTHOR
Masego Seemela
Journalist

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