Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ) operates as a private Trust organisation answerable to the Council of Veterinary Surgeons of Zimbabwe and to the Veterinary Profession in general. The organisation is presently controlled by a small committee made up of Veterinarians and other Animal Welfare Specialists. It employs a small number of persons qualified in Animal Welfare and licensed as inspectors under the current Act. Meryl Harrison, Chief Inspector, heads the organisation which operates throughout Zimbabwe.
VAWZ operates nationally in the following areas:
1. Regular and Routine Inspections of:
- Abattoirs and poultry slaughter houses
- Modes of transportation of animals to such slaughter areas
- Security company guard dogs
- Police dogs
- Pet shops
- Companies importing domestic pets into the country
- Research Laboratories
- Companies that utilise captive elephants for recreation purposes.
2. Investigations into:
- Wildlife poaching including hunting of leopards using packs of dogs
- Illegal importation of alien species
- Cases of suspected animal cruelty that come to the notice of both veterinarians during their course of work and to members of the public. We will work with the legal authorities to facilitate prosecution of such cases where necessary
- The background issues in Animal Welfare, especially where acts of cruelty are committed or animal welfare is otherwise compromised for commercial purposes.
3. Training and support of:
- Personnel involved with other animal welfare organisations especially the SPCA. We will be available to the SPCA centres for help, advice and support from a veterinary aspect and will be active in helping to train and support both veterinarians and other animal health workers and inspectors
- Animal Health Inspectors-In conjunction with the Division of Field Services we will participate in training courses for animal health inspectors and other animal health personnel in the field in matters such as humane transportation of livestock and basic health care of livestock in rural areas
- Setting up education programmes relating to animal welfare to circulate through the education system of the country.
- Consulting/ holding regular meetings with bodies such as Zimbabwe Veterinary Association, Department of Veterinary Services, local government organisations, Farmers Unions, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Parks and Wildlife Management, to give briefings and get feedback on animal welfare issues
- Maintaining a relationship with the Zimbabwe Press to publicize animal welfare issues
- Maintaining a relationship with local SPCA branches as well as other Zimbabwe based animal welfare groups on matters of mutual concern
- Maintaining links with International Organisations which have an interest in animal welfare in Zimbabwe
- Assisting with fund raising for the work of this animal welfare organisation especially by giving talks on its activities at local and international venues.