A cow that killed and ate body parts of a teacher in Qumbu in the Eastern Cape will be sent for tests as soon as the Eastern Cape government can convince its owner to comply.

The cow attacked Zininzi Mthethandaba and bit her leg as she was crossing grazing land on 21 December. She died in hospital, the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform revealed this week.

Condolences were sent from the Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Nomakhosazana Meth and Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane to Mthethandaba’s family.

The department said Meth was asked to have a study done into the behavior of the cow and all the animals in Mdeni Village will be vaccinated by the department against rabies.

DRDAR spokesperson Ayongezwa Lungisa said veterinary scientists from the department reported that they suspect the cow to have had rabies.

“The MEC is aware that the community may live in fear of another person befalling animal biting. The MEC therefore commits the department to do everything possible to avert the situation from reoccurring,” Lungisa said.

Lungisa added that a team of veterinary officials went to assess the animal and they found that it did not show any clinical symptoms of rabies.

He added that the cow and its calf had been isolated at the owner’s home for daily monitoring and assessment.

A meeting was conducted  between the cow’s owner, traditional leaders in the village, and the department’s veterinary services officials and they agreed that the cow should be put to death.

Lungisa said the owner later failed to honour the agreement.

The department is pleading with the owner to release the animal so that they take it to Dohne Research Institute in Stutterheim for further examination by the team of veterinary and livestock scientists.

Mabuyane restricted residents from creating jokes from the incident: “A family has lost a loved one here so we appeal to the public to stop making jokes about this incident.”-The Citizen

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